R & D Pedagogical and STEM Projects
MABAT - Learning about Science through Technology
The MABAT program is designed to assist junior high school students in fully understanding and discovering for themselves the scientific principles and technology concepts taught as part of the national school curriculum – through the hands-on use of robotic Lego kits. The program offers a package of study materials, online tools and teacher training. Read more
This project, run in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Education, involves creating a virtual community of learners where groups of students from different Negev and Galilee schools affiliated to World ORT Kadima Mada work together to conduct practical biology research experiments as part of their matriculation exam research requirement. The rationale for this project is to help students develop key 21st century skills of peer learning, collaborative problem solving and critical & creative thinking, whilst working in a web 2.0 setting. Read more
Learning through Problem Solving
In cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Tel Hai College Center for Youth Academics, World ORT Kadima Mada is developing a virtual learning environment to enable several WOKM affiliated schools in the north of Israel to conduct collaborative student research projects modelled on a problem based learning approach.
Junior high school students work with their teachers to identify science-related problems in the real world which they find compelling. They study scientific and technological information relevant to the specific issue, discuss possible solutions, select a solution and undertake scientific research to produce the information required for designing and prototyping their solution. Each group of students documents their progress on the virtual platform, and this documentation serves as the basis for feedback and evaluation from the other student groups. At the end of the project, the schools gather together for the groups to present their results to their peers, teachers and outside experts. Read more
Colours in Action
Through ‘Colours in Action’, nursery school children learn to explore the significance of different colours from scientific, artistic and cultural aspects. This new and unique program, geared specifically to young children, develops scientific thinking and encourages inquisitiveness and independent learning. By so doing, it makes science education accessible to young children in the periphery. Read more
Technology Training for the Educators. Collaboration with teacher training colleges
World ORT Kadima Mada is investing in teacher training colleges through the provision of technological equipment and relevant pedagogical training and implementation. Working side by side with faculty staff, World ORT Kadima Mada is ensuring that tomorrow’s new teachers are well-versed in using smart classrooms, advanced teaching strategies and mobile learning processes. Read more
Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning
This project is being run in cooperation with the I-CORE (Israeli Centers of Research Excellence) program at the University of Haifa, as part of its Learning in a Networked Society (LINKS) initiative. Teaching staff at Misgav, Western Galilee and Har VaGai schools will be developing ideas, frameworks and curricula for combining together under cross-cutting themes subjects previously taught in isolation. As a result, students will better understand the connections between subjects, and experience their schooling in way that is more consistent with their experience of the real world. Read more
World ORT Kadima Mada has joined forces with the Israel Center for Excellence in Education and the Israel Ministry of Education to create a pilot teacher training project, assisting teachers to develop the scientific thinking skills of their grade 9 students. Teachers participating in the project will introduce a weekly lesson of one hour's duration, forming part of a "Scientific Thinking and Thinking Skills" course. This will be in addition to them integrating the pedagogical techniques they have learnt into their core teaching.
The pilot will last one academic year and will be actively supervised by the Israel Center for Excellence in Education through the teacher training, and also through classroom visits. Evaluation of the pilot will be conducted by an independent academic research body.
Assessment for Learning
The theory behind Assessment for Learning (AfL) focuses on creating a classroom environment which involves students receiving meaningful and ongoing feedback from teachers as an integral part of their learning process. World ORT Kadima Mada has developed a teacher training program to support the embedding of AfL principles and techniques within a school’s ethos.
Over the course of the program, teacher-facilitators from 20 junior high schools will receive training in AfL theory and practice, with a view to them establishing and training both a maths and science community of teachers at their school. Facilitators are trained by Professor Menucha Birenbaum of Tel Aviv University’s School of Education, one of the pioneers of AfL methodology.
Interactive Classrooms at Teacher Colleges
This project focuses on training both student teachers and their college lecturers in making effective use of interactive classroom technology in their teaching. World ORT Kadima Mada is working with Kaye College in Beer Sheva and The College of Sachknin to install one fully equipped interactive classroom in each college and to supply 50 tablet computers to both. A semester long course will be offered in the interactive classrooms focusing on developing teachers’ creativity. The course will help teachers to develop their own teaching materials and to use the technological tools to maximum advantage. The WOKM pedagogical team will play an active part in the program and will also bring in expert speakers. Upon completion of a 3 year project cycle, responsibility for the continuity of the program will be transferred to the college administration.
Collaborative Problem Solving Pilot Research Project
World ORT Kadima Mada has joined forces with Pearson Education to help develop a Science Collaborative Problem Solving Unit for use in the 2015 PISA assessments. The objective of this pilot project – being run with partners at CIM-ORT Mexico and high schools in the USA – is to create an international community where groups of 8th and 9th grade students (120 from Israel, 120 from Mexico & the USA) solve real-world problems in science. Teachers collaborate with each other to formulate ideas for interdisciplinary tasks and to develop assessment criteria.
Evaluation of this pilot community will inform development of the PISA assessments, and will focus on the following key questions:
- What are teachers' and students' conceptions of collaborative problem solving skills, and what role and value do they ascribe to these skills in science learning?
- What are the major pedagogical activities that take place during a collaborative problem solving project?
- What are the cognitive, organizational, and technical challenges to teachers and students working in new collaborative environments, and what strategies do they employ to address them?
- How do project participants and designers define dimensions of success and evaluate the project’s main outcomes?
World ORT Kadima Mada's educational portal serves as an online repository of teaching resources for smart classrooms. It is also used as a platform and teachers' forum for other technology-enhanced projects run by WOKM.
Robotraffic is an international school competition, hosted annually by the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Participants first design and then try to safely navigate their robotic cars through a simulated road course, including traffic lights, barriers, signs and signals. World ORT Kadima Mada sponsors the robotic car kits, which are modified and adapted as part of the competition. The competition develops teamwork and creative problem-solving skills, in additionn to teaching students about road safety. ORT students from countries of the former Soviet Union travel to Israel to take part in this competition.
2025 Educators' Forum
This is a long-term project with the purpose of setting out a vision for learning and teaching that will be fit-for-purpose in Israel in 2025. A small working group of principals, academics, government officials and World ORT Kadima Mada staff meet on a regular basis to develop a pedagogical framework that will:
- outline core educational principles that can be applied across the whole curriculum
- propose uses of technology that develop 21st century skills and capabilities
- assist educators to instill in their students a sense of responsibility for their community and for the wider world
Academic Research Project - defining World ORT Kadima Mada's mission
In the context of a fast-changing technological learning environment, World ORT Kadima Mada is thinking hard about how it can continue to add value as an NGO and remain at the forefront of educational innovation. As a result, the organization will be reflecting on the past years and planning strategically for the future through conducting a comprehensive research project which evaluates the educational and technological environment in which WOKM operates. This is timely; previous research studies conducted by WOKM have focused on specific topics related to specific projects. A large-scale longitudinal study which includes theoretical concepts and then connects these concepts to specific projects has never been conducted before.
This four-year research project aims both to create a road map for the next decade of WOKM’s activities and also to apply educational theory to the more general question of 21st century skills. In addition, it will strengthen WOKM’s ties to academia and establish accepted criteria by which to evaluate the suitability of pilot projects for national rollout.