Culture and Sport Pedagogic Administration The Israeli Curriculum Center, 1999
The research described in this paper explores a two-year-project of training elementary and
junior high school teachers to become professional literacy consultants in their schools. The
paper describes the two phases of the project:
1. Teaching and learning literacy concepts and literacy teaching strategies.
2. Coaching the teachers to become literacy consultants in their schools.
The paper also describes the development of the teachers' professional knowledge from two
aspects: Content-pedagogical aspect and personal aspect. This knowledge is a compound of
theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge and self knowledge. It also presents the different
consulting patterns evolved in the schools and discusses the factors involved in shaping those
patterns. Finally, the paper discusses implications for teacher training and for consulting
patterns, development in schools and recommends further research.
The transfer of the focus of instructional planning otherwise known as "Curriculum Planning"
from a centralized system to a local school focus signifies an important principle in the
response of the educational system to the wide range of developments and social,
technological and economic changes that characterize the end of the 20th century. (Levin,
Aviram 1996; Zilberstein, Emanual, Tzbar Ben Yehoshua, 1995 ;1995).
In this article the change will be described and outlined with regard to the term "curriculum"
as representing the changes occurring in all areas of life. Moreover the article will present the
operative aspects necessary for starting the change in instructional planning specifically in the
"teachers' room" via the construction of teamworking units.*
It must be stressed that: the teachers who are the backbone of the school are meant to be both
a conduit for the change and its agent-operators. The result of this complex process is
supposed to be realized on a daily basis in the class and in the "teachers' room"
Because this desired change is a complicated process from the teachers' point of view,
integrating both personal and professional aspects (Shachar and Sharan, 1994), it appears that
its activation via the "construction of teamworking units," a significant element in the school
process, will allow teachers to change and be changed simultaneously.
*The operative aspects that will be demonstrated were developed within the framework of
"Ladaat" a highschool value intervention system which functions on a regular basis in part of
the Junior High Schools and High Schools in the religious sector.
This paper claims that literature curricula include overall goals intended to develop in the
readers personal involvement in works of literature, esthetic sensitivity, literary taste and
evaluative skills. Yet, these goals are vague, due both to the difficulty in defining the
concepts involved and to the multiplicity of factors effecting this field. The paper is based
upon research, which examines the explanations provided by students of four twelfth grade
classes (just before taking their final exams in literature) regarding their choice of a poem
unfamiliar to them) as their favorite one. The findings indicate their very partial use of)
knowledge, tools and strategies studied in the course of six years of high school. The
research, focusing upon the most complete and the best answers, finds a goal oriented
approach to the reading of poetry.
There is a gap between expectations derived from the phrasing of the goals and the students'
responses to literary texts not learned in class and to free reading situations. The instruction of
literature in schools is not aimed towards fostering esthetic sensitivity - mainly due to the
undefinability of the concept - and hence, there are difficulties in finding ways of application.
The paper points out the absence of research investigating the meaning of literary
understanding and esthetic sensitivity and the ways whereby they can be attained. Such
research may lead to the construction of models that will serve as a basis for study programs in
which there is correlation between goals and ways of instruction and evaluation.
Science teaching in Israeli high schools is expected to play a key role in educating students
for active involvement and commitment. As future citizens they are expected to participate in
decision making processes based on a value system aimed at improving life and
environmental quality within our technology-based society. The primary goal of the MATAS
curriculum development project is the development of an autonomous learner capable of
system critical thinking and decision making in relation to real life problems and acting
The MATAS curriculum consists of seven modules developed by several groups of teachers
from different science disciplines, led by group coordinator and an academic advisor. One of
these groups was assessed and studied throughout the curriculum development process,
aiming at evaluating the development of system and pedagogical approach within the STES
The research findings indicated improvement in the content aspect - transformation from
disciplinary to interdisciplinary teaching. Only a few of the teachers developed a system
approach and a multifaceted teaching strategy. Finally, progress was made in the use of
teamwork following the start of the field test. The group members switched to a more
collaborative pattern of work compared to what they were used to at the beginning of the
Most teachers indicated that their active involvement in the design and development of the
Biotechnology, Environment, and Related Issues MATAS module contributed, meaningfully,
to their professional development.
*Hebrew acronym for "Science, Technology and Environment in Modern Society"
This article will focus on a description of the workshop in which the teachers experienced
alternative teaching and evaluation methods in the context of a new curricular program for
senior high school students: "Science and Technology in Society".
The problems likely to arise in this program's application are:
In order to assist a group of teachers from two schools (who began teaching the MUTAV
program in 1997) in both teaching and evaluation methods, it was decided to open a
workshop for these teachers at the Department for Science Teaching at the Weizmann
Institute of Science.
The characteristics of the workshop can be divided into two parts:
1. Workshop activities.
2. Field (classroom) activities.
Different teaching and evaluation methods formulated at the workshop will serve as
examples. The work methods employed at this workshop can also be applied to work with
teachers in other, different frameworks.
* Hebrew acronym for "Science and Technology in Society".