Research in the Learning in Informal Environments Group is based on the premise that learning takes place throughout one's entire life-course, in a broad array of contexts and interactions, including those that are not specifically designed for learning. Furthermore, we assume that throughout our lives, most significant learning occurs outside of classrooms and other formal learning settings. Yet most educational research focuses on learning within schools, and we know very little about learning in other contexts. Our research also draws on the notion that learning is a multidimensional process, entailing cognitive, social, and affective dimensions and unfolding in a socio-cultural context.
Accordingly, we aim to promote understanding of learning processes and their various components in contexts beyond the classroom. Researchers in our group investigate teacher on-the-job learning, science learning in everyday family life, learning in science museums, learning in pre-military service academies (mechinot) and in alternative schools, etc. Many of our studies focus on socio-emotional dimensions such as motivation, identity, face-work, affect, disagreements, uncertainty, and power relations and hierarchy. To explore such processes, the factors that shape them, and their implications, we employ various research approaches and methods, both qualitative and quantitative, based on observations, interviews, and surveys and including discourse analysis, multimodal video analysis, statistical analysis, and more. The group is also exploring additional research methods, such as psychophysiological measures to study emotions.
Our research group is shocked by the brutal murder of Yasmin Zohar, a cherished member of our team, along with her husband, Yaniv Zohar, her father, Haim Livne, and her daughters, Keshet and Tchelet Zohar. They were victims of the horrific attack carried out by Hamas in Nachal Oz on Saturday, October 7th.
Yasmin was an exceptional student within the School of Education. She not only completed her master's degree with distinction but also served as a dedicated teaching assistant. In her final year, she was actively engaged in a collaborative thesis project with our team. Yasmin joined our research and development initiative focused on teacher learning, and she was in the process of crafting her thesis on the topic of "Teachers' Emotional Expressions in Professional Development Discussions Concerning Teacher-Parent Conflicts." Additionally, Yasmin worked as a teaching assistant in our department and played an integral role in the development and planning of an undergraduate course, "Conflictual Issues in Teaching and Learning." Her passion and commitment to education left an indelible mark on our team, and her memory will continue to inspire our work.
Our dearest Yasmin, our friend and partner. Our hearts are shattered, bearing the weight of a tremendous void left behind. Yet, amidst this sorrow, we will forever hold on to the fond and joyous memories of the brilliant and insightful woman you were, a seeker of knowledge and learning, endlessly curious, profoundly critical, meticulously thorough, brimming with creativity, and ceaselessly pursuing uncompromising excellence.
We are grateful for the warm and enriching friendship on our shared journey through research, teaching, and learning. The privilege of absorbing your wisdom, basking in your sensitivity, witnessing the warmth of your kind and joyous eyes, and engaging in the exhilarating exchange of thoughts with you is a gift we will forever treasure.
Yasmin, we thank you for being in our lives and for the legacy you leave behind. We love you deeply, and in our hearts, you will eternally remain. May you rest in peace.