2015 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Social Sciences
In Field: Education and Promotion of education
Prof. Bat-Sheva Eylon, born in 1948, completed her B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics at the Hebrew University, graduating with top honors. She earned her M.Sc. in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science while teaching high school physics, and her Ph.D. in Science Education from University of California at Berkeley. She joined the Science Teaching Department at Weizmann in 1979 and became its head in 2008. Since 2001, she has also held the Professorial Chair of Science Teaching named for Canada's Chief Justice Bora Laskin. In 2006 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the field of Education.
In her research and academic work, she has endeavored to enhance the quality of science education in Israel and to nurturing students who are involved, critical, independent learners and thinkers. In particular, to counter the ill effects of fragmented knowledge she designed teaching strategies and curricula that promote knowledge integration and target mainly secondary-school physics and middle school science students (for example the MATMON curriculum series). To support teachers’ professionalism she devised, implemented and studied a broad range of long term frameworks for professional development of teachers in the field, thus empowering thousands of teachers and students in Israel. A book by Linn and Eylon (2011) summarizes theory and practice in this area. She also designed and ran with peers for a decade programs for outstanding and excellent students such as "Physics and Industry".
To promote these goals, Eylon founded with peers several systemic frameworks. These include the Israeli National Teachers' Centers in Physics and in Science and Technology for Junior High Schools, where she serves as scientific advisor and the Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching which she directs educationally. For ten years she chaired the professional national committee for physics teaching in Israel as well as the steering committee of international testing TIMSS in Israel. Since 2010 she has been a member of the National Council for Research and Development of the Ministry of Science and Technology.