Center (STC) is a research-development Department within the Faculty of
Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
(HUJI). STC is active in two interwoven
dimensions: (1) Teaching students toward higher academic degrees of M.Sc. and
Ph. D. in Science and Mathematics education and (2) Development of research
based innovative teaching-learning materials for the various populations of
school students in
Among others there is a trend of teaching, research and development with regard to the involvement of the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) in science education. Basing on the continuous research effort, a new theoretical understanding of the subject was developed. We have produced a framework of education aiming at discipline-culture instead of the common disciplinary education . This cultural approach of learning-teaching physics was applied in the production of an innovative textbook in Light and Vision for high school and currently constructed textbook in Physical Optics.
Three major directions of research activity provided the institution with the knowledge relevant and important for the suggested project.
Firstly, they investigated the knowledge of school students learning science (physics) at various levels and aspects. They have accumulated expertise in students' conceptions and typical difficulties they face during the learning particular scientific contents
Secondly, they investigated using the HPS material in teaching physics challenging particular aspects of students' knowledge which appeared to be problematic for understanding in a regular teaching course (method of "cognitive resonance).
Thirdly, they have developed the above mentioned theoretical framework of cultural education in science. This perspective reserves a crucial role for the historical and philosophical aspects of education in gaining a solid and meaningful disciplinary knowledge.
Prof. Igal Galili, Ph.D. in physics, is currently the Head of the Science Teaching Department and leads a research group in physics education. His research interests are in cultural-disciplinary teaching of physics, students' knowledge of physics and innovative methods of physics teaching, especially using the History and Philosophy of Science.