The Brain Activity that Predicts What You Will Remember
Elevated activity in areas of the brain associated with attentional control just before events increases the probability that we will remember the event. This finding emerged from a new international study undertaken at the University of Haifa in cooperation with the Weizmann Institute and the Universities of Colombia, Cambridge, and Zurich. The study was led by Dr. Noga Cohen and was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
Dr. Tamar Almog׳s New Book: Generation Y - Generation Snowflake?
Generation Y (Millennials), born in the 1980s and 1990s, came of age during a period of unprecedented accelerated economic growth. These young secular women and men were shaped by a society that was fast becoming more self-critical and cynical, conflictual, entrepreneurial, consumer and media-oriented, individualistic and globalized. This is a generation characterized by its pervasive permissiveness, sociability, sense of humour, openness and easygoing outlook on life. They live in ‘urban tribes’ and are slow to assume responsibility. They are the self-centred children of the digital age, raised as princes and princesses, shielded by their teachers and parents' words of praise and affirmation. They were promised they would be able to realize their dreams if only they so desired. They are in no rush to spread their wings because they see the world around them as increasingly exploitative and unstable and also they wish to have room for flexibility. They flock to purchase degrees whose job-market value and intellectual worth are declining. Their lives are replete with trauma growing up in the shadow of missiles and terror attacks and because the media exposes them to daily disasters and tragedies around the world. They are anxiety-ridden and confused. They have difficulty coping with stress and they are slaves to the infinite information and constant stimuli that flows from all directions. Generation Y is different to previous generations in almost every way: work, study, media consumption, leisure and entertainment habits, raising their children and more. What is the cultural DNA of today's youth? Why did this generation emerge and how is it influencing the West? Based on extensive research this book provides answers to these key questions. Although it concentrates on Israeli society, most of the generational traits and their sociological interpretations are applicable all over the western world.
Greetings to Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi on the publication of his new book: Topics and Trends in Current Statistics – International Perspectives
Editors: Gail Burrill and Dani Ben-Zvi
Statistics has become one of the key areas of study in the modern world of information and big data. The dramatic increase in demand for learning statistics in all disciplines is accompanied by tremendous growth in research in statistics education. Increasingly, countries are teaching more quantitative reasoning and statistics at lower and lower grade levels within mathematics, science and across many content areas. Research has revealed the many challenges in helping learners develop statistical literacy, reasoning, and thinking, and new curricula and technology tools show promise in facilitating the achievement of these desired outcomes.
This book focuses on international research in statistics education, providing a solid understanding of the challenges in learning statistics. It presents the teaching and learning of statistics in various contexts, including designed settings for young children, students in formal schooling, tertiary level students, and teacher professional development. The book describes research on what to teach and platforms for delivering content (curriculum), strategies on how to teach for deep understanding, and includes several chapters on developing conceptual understanding (pedagogy and technology), teacher knowledge and beliefs, and the challenges teachers and students face when they solve statistical problems (reasoning and thinking). This new research in the field offers critical insights for college instructors, classroom teachers, curriculum designers, researchers in mathematics and statistics education as well as policy makers and newcomers to the field of statistics education.
Congratulations to the winners of ISF and the Ministry of Education grants for two deep-learning excellence centers!
We are proud to announce that Faculty of Education researchers lead two out of five proposals funded by the prestigious “Deep Learning Excellence Centers” program.
The excellence centers, which will be funded for the next five years, are:
Taking Citizen Science to School: Breaking Boundaries Between School and Society – Led by Professor Yael Kali, Professor Dani Ben-Zvi, & Dr. Yotam Hod, in collaboration with the Technion researchers- Professor Ayelet Baram Tsabari, & Professor Tali Tal.
Teaching with the Heart and Mind: An Integrative Whole School Model for Sustainable Socio-Emotional and Cognitive Deep Learning in Elementary Schools – Led by Professor Ofra Mayseless, Dr. Shiri Lavy, & Professor Roza Leikin, in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University researchers – Professor Zemira Mevarech & Professor Michal Zion.
BSF grant and Bergman Award for Dr. Sarit Barzilai's study with Prof. Clark A. Chinn
The Faculty of Education greets with pride Dr. Sarit Barzilai from the Dept. of Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education for receiving with Prof. Clark A. Chinn from Rutgers University, USA, a respectful research grant from the the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The grant was given to a joint study of the two scholars aiming to create an innovative growth model of epistemic thought, using a micro-genetic methodology. In addition, Dr. Sarit Barzilai was awarded with the prestigious BSF Bergman award, given to young scholars who submit exceptionally outstanding research proposals.
Modeling Epistemic Growth: A Microgenetic Study of the Development of Epistemic Cognition
Dr. Sarit Barzilai, Department of Learning, Instruction, and Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel
Prof. Clark A. Chinn, Department of Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
In modern knowledge societies, learners are often faced with conflicting information sources that present different explanations or claims regarding the same phenomena. To effectively deal with conflicting information, learners need to acquire a rich repertoire of strategies for evaluating the sources of knowledge (e.g., judging authors’ trustworthiness), for evaluating the reliability of knowledge claims (e.g., judging the adequacy of evidence for claims), and for reconciling conflicting accounts (e.g., corroborating information). To successfully employ such strategies, learners need to develop effective criteria for judging the reliability and quality of sources, evidence, and arguments. Last, but not least, learners are likely to effectively engage in such strategies if they care about aims such as getting to the bottom of the matter, understanding the issue at hand, and forming reasonable judgements.
The purpose of our study is to understand how learners come to acquire such epistemic strategies, criteria, and aims, and how they develop the ability to apply these effectively in the context of everyday reasoning about conflicting sources of information. To achieve this goal, we plan to closely track how pairs of adolescents think about multiple conflicting scientific information sources as they engage in weekly discussions over a period of three months. We expect that as the participants in our study repeatedly encounter various types of conflicts, they will gradually develop better and more diverse strategies and criteria for evaluating and integrating conflicting information sources and will come to appreciate the importance of making valid judgements. We are particularly interested in identifying conditions (e.g., particular types of information sources, social interactions, or reflections) that can enable or inhibit such development. Mapping these conditions will enable us to offer a new model of epistemic growth and to suggest new ways for improving people’s ways of knowing.
The study is funded by the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) during 2017– 2019.
Grant for Innovative Teaching awarded to M.A. Student Dorit Kirshner
Dorit also works as a teacher in Kfar-Galim school. As part of the school's innovative learning spaces, she held philosophical research communities for junior high students. Her work was inspired by her own research and a course on dialogic philosophy with children she took during her studies.
Kirshner's educational initiative was chosen from hundreds of proposals submitted and from tenths of candidates who reached the interview stage. Her initiative joins the 110 initiatives that will be incorporated in the foundation's programs for the upcoming year; and to hundreds of initiatives that have been developed by many entrepreneurs, members of the foundation's community
The foundation's support includes a yearlong training program for the development of the initiative, financial aid up to 12,000 NIS and connections to the nationwide entrepreneur community. The program consists of 3 training sessions at school and 3 national conferences.
Mrs. Yosefa Dar, the director of the foundation, wrote to Dorit: "We believe that the initiative that you have founded will improve and empower your students' learning and educational experiences. The initiative will benefit not only the students, but the entrepreneur teacher as well."
Dr. Kizel congratulated Kirshner, stating that her educational originality is manifested in the formation of dialogical discourse circles with young students, in the best traditions of philosophy for children. "In her paper, Dorit reveals that young students show critical and creative thinking; and the philosophical research communities give voice to many voices which are marginalized in regular lessons", said Kizel. He also mentioned the great support given by the Kfar-Galim school administration, which additionally takes part in training student teachers from the Faculty of Education.
Only a year ago, Dorit won an excellence scholarship from the Graduate Studies Authority, in the University of Haifa. The Faculty of Education is proud with Dorit's outstanding achievements and wishes her the best of luck in the future.
Prof. Yael Kali's keynote lecture at the ICLS conference
Congratulations to associate Prof. Yael Kali, head of the Educational Technologies Graduate Program and director of the Learning in a NetworKed Society (LINKS) center, who was a distinguished keynote speaker at the 12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences in Singapore. The conference theme was Transforming Learning, Empowering Learners and Yael's talk dealt with: Transformative Learning in Design Research: The Story Behind the Scenes.
The audience responded very positively to the talk and to the need to deepen the discussion on the subject within the community. One of the responses to the talk was Prof. Eric Hamilton's, a leading researcher in the field of the learning sciences:
"I am sure you have had an abundance of positive feedback from the talk you gave yesterday. It was one of the best, most richly layered and thoughtful, most effectively delivered keynotes I have ever heard. Please know you did the ICLS community - and the learners it serves - a great service yesterday."
The talk abstract:
Transformative Learning in Design Research: The Story Behind the Scenes
Design research, from its inception and until today, when it constitutes a leading method in the learning sciences, has sought to explore how learning is shaped by design. Of particular interest has been the type of learning known as transformative, one that results not so much in the recognition of new facts about matters under study as in a reorganization of the ways of looking at, and thinking about, those matters. Yet, whereas the design research literature is full of reports about transformative learning of students, much less attention is paid to transformative learning frequently experienced in parallel by the researchers themselves. The focus of this talk is on those unplanned, often surprising ways in which researchers arrive at insights that revolutionize their thinking about the phenomena they investigate. As illustrated by the few cases in which researchers did write on the winding roads they travelled to arrive at those insights, reflective analyses of our own learning can become quite useful for other researchers, and in those instances in which we conduct our studies in collaborative partnerships with teachers and school leaders, it can also be of great value to practitioners and, eventually, to their students.
In this presentation I introduce the term Design Researchers' Transformative Learning (DRTL) and create a conceptual framework for studying, and reporting about, the phenomenon it signifies. The main tenet of this framework is that design research provides a fertile ground for transformative learning among those who conduct it. This kind of learning happens due to two types of processes that are inherent to design research: (a) boundary crossing in teacher-researcher partnerships, and (b) blending analytical and creative mindsets. I illustrate the use of the DRTL framework by analyzing two case-study design research projects portraying these types of processes. In sum, I suggest to expand the dual-focus view of design research, which includes developing theory and promoting design knowledge and practice, to a triple-focus view that includes DRTL processes as well. Embracing DRTL as a third focus of design research will require the community of the learning sciences to consider alternative means for sharing and publishing design research.
Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi and Dr. Ido Gal receive a research grant from the European Community
Warm congratulations to Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi, a leading member of the program of Technologies in Education, the Department of Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education and to Ido Gal, from the Department of Human Resources on receiving an honorable research grant from the European Community on the subject “Promoting civic engagement via exploration of evidence: Challenges for statistics education”
Research Rational and Needs: A vibrant democracy requires informed citizens who can monitor and discuss societal progress towards economic and social goals and human rights. However, this requires the ability to explore, understand, and reason about information of a multivariate nature, as most social problems and trends involve complex data and multiple variables. This project aims to develop new methods for statistics instruction that contribute to young people's ability to understand quantitative evidence and statistics about key social phenomena that permeate civic life. Thus it fills a significant gap found in most curricula across Europe: the lack of attention paid to understanding publicly available rich data relevant to pressing social problems.
OBJECTIVES: The project has three primary goals:
- to advance a new type of instruction in statistics that is more focused on deep understanding and interpretation of data about social issues;
- to develop open source materials that enable teachers and students to engage with real up-to-date social data from public datasets suitable for each country and pan-European comparisons; and
- to introduce teachers and students to dynamic visualization tools that enable them to explore and understand multivariate data with ease.
New English translation of "On the Lyricism of the Mind" by Dr. Dana Amir
The Faculty of Education congratulates Dr. Dana Amir, the Department of Counseling and Human Development on the recent English translation of her book "On the Lyricism of the Mind" by Routledge Publishing. The book was originally published in Hebrew on 2008 by Magnes.
About the Book
On the Lyricism of the Mind: Psychoanalysis and Literature explores the lyrical dimension (or the lyricism) of the psychic space. It is not presented as an artistic disposition, but rather as a universal psychic quality which enables the recovery and recuperation of the self. The specific nature of human lyricism is defined as the interaction as well as the integration of two psychic modes of experience originally defined by the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion: The emergent and the continuous principles of the self.
Emerald published the first book in a series on teacher education pedagogies
The Faculty of Education congratulates Prof. Lily Orland-Barak on the publication of a new book in the Emerald series:"International Teacher Education: Promising Pedagogies".
The three-volume series, edited by Prof. Orland Barak together with Prof. Cheryl Craig includes numerous chapters authored by leading scholars in the field of teacher education around the world.
About the book:
To this point in time, teacher education has been approached in mostly insular ways because it is largely driven by state and national education policies. However, the spread of the global economy and the increased stature of international comparison tests (i.e., TIMSS) has changed all that. All countries in the world understand that education is vital to human and economic prosperity and that teacher education unavoidably is implicated. But the snag is this: political forces shaping public opinion in individual nations (particularly the U.S.) are deeply divided concerning how teacher education should proceed. This book acknowledges this Achilles heel tension, but does not become weighed down by it. Instead, it focuses on 'the practical' (Schwab, 1969), matters that have been locally deliberated and enacted. Pedagogies are named, origins (cultural/practical/theoretical/policy roots) are traced and a live example of the pedagogy unfurling in the local setting is presented from an insider-view. After that, the conditions necessary for the pedagogy to be transported successfully to another international location are discussed.