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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > April 2022 Newsletter > Beit Berl launches Israel's first Masters in Integrative STEM Education

Beit Berl launches Israel's first Masters in Integrative STEM Education

Beit Berl College launched Israel's first integrative master's degree program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Israel. The two-year program trains educators from different STEM-based fields in new integrative

approaches implemented in industry and academia, providing them with the keystones for designing and implementing integrative STEM curricula in schools using cutting-edge teaching and learning techniques.

Today, schools must prepare students for rapidly changing environments in which information is increasing, professions combine different disciplines, and creative and critical thinking and teamwork are necessary for addressing needs, solving problems and initiating and implementing new ideas. Preparing teachers able and ready to attract students and teach integrative STEM education is a challenge worldwide. Most teachers hold a degree in a single discipline and are inexperienced in developing cross-disciplinary and collaborative learning collaboratively for their pupils.  In addition, many of the math and science teachers lack foundations in technology and engineering.

This one-of-a-kind program is based on Project-Based Learning, a pedagogical method that cultivates active learners to develop and work in teams in solving real-world problems. Working in multidisciplinary teams, students bring expertise from their respective bachelors' degree fields; together, they develop innovative, creative, and implementable solutions to authentic problems. 

"The discourse promotes and stimulates thinking." "There is openness, intentionality, positivity and a lot of knowledge by the staff." 

The first cycle allows both faculty and students to learn together. The faculty garners experience in co-teaching, one of the program's unique characteristics, where each faculty member brings a different field of field knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. The students invest significantly in learning and developing thinking in new directions, some already implementing first ideas in the field. 

"Learning in this program is a long-term investment. You really enjoy your studies and already apply your learning in school." 

Students admitted to this program were selected for exceptional educational and professional experience and motivation, coming from an array of backgrounds: a graduate of Beit Berl's Honors program who, as a math and civil studies teacher, set up a micro-environment at his school; a scientist and industrial designer who serves as the Pedagogical Director and Head of Technology at Idan Technology, a center for technological development, educational-communal Innovation and employment in the Emek Hama'ayanot; a software engineer graduate from the Technion Institute who teaches mathematics and is the 12th grade school coordinator; a biology and chemistry teacher responsible for the matriculation exams in the subjects in the Arab community; an elementary school principal who came to program with the intent to apply her learnings in her school.

"Upon graduating, this first cohort will return to the field with a broad and fresh worldview, novel pedagogical methods, and entrepreneurial approaches that will enable them to lead changes in the educational frameworks in which they work," says Dr. Noa Ragonis, Head of the M.Ed. in Integrative STEM Education program. "It is the beginning of a new pipeline of STEM education in Israel."

This program is supported by the Azrieli Foundation, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and ADAMA.

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