EPI•STEM Lecture Series: A talk by Dr Rachel Mamlok-Naaman

RachelDepartment of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel


Wednesday 20th January 2016, 11h30 to 12h30, Room A1-065


Title of Talk:

Accomplished practice of chemistry teachers through evidence-based continuous professional development: A Workshop focusing on the inquiry approach in the chemistry laboratory



In this study, our aim was to better understand the development of accomplished teaching of chemistry teachers who are involved in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program, focusing on the inquiry approach in the chemistry laboratory followed by protocols assembled in a portfolio, which can be used to demonstrate evidence-based accomplished practice in science teaching, towards achieving more effective teaching. Seven experienced chemistry teachers were involved in the workshop, coordinated by three CPD providers from the Department of Science Teaching. The meetings, lasting about three hours, were conducted once a month. All the meetings were documented either by transcribing an abstract or by audio or video recordings. In between, the teachers reported and discussed (by e-mail) problems that arose in their classrooms as well as other issues regarding the project. Based on the findings, we concluded that the Evidence-Based CPD program contributed to the professional development of the teachers. The teachers became more reflective and more aware of the importance of the domain. Moreover, their anxiety concerning the implementation of the program diminished throughout the year, they learned how to customize activities according to their needs, and their students' learning and understanding were enhanced.



Dr. Rachel Mamlok-Naaman earned her BSc in chemistry from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1966), her MSc and PhD in Science Education from Bar Ilan (1992 and 1998 respectively). After conducting her postdoctoral research at the University in Michigan (2000) she joined the Weizmann Institute of Science in the Department of Science Teaching, where she is the head of the National Center for Chemistry Teachers, and the coordinator of the chemistry group at the Department of Science Teaching.
Dr. Mamlok-Naaman is engaged in development, implementation, and evaluation of new curricular materials, and research on students' perceptions of chemistry concepts and professional development of chemistry teachers. She also focuses on production of publications in the areas of teachers' professional development, cognitive aspects of students' learning, assessment and curriculum development. In her work, she uses the experience which she gained as a chemistry teacher who taughed high school students for 26 years. She is the coordinator of chemistry teachers' programs in the framework of the Rothschild-Weizmann MSc program for science teachers, and of projects in the framework of  the European Union (the FP7 programs) in Israel - PROFILES (which ended July 2015), and TEMI. In addition, she is the formal representative of the Israel Chemical Society to the various international organizations of Chemistry Education, including the IUPAC CCE and the EuCheMS DivCED, and a member of editorial and advisory boards of journals and organizations of science education.