​The Center partners with entities in the field of education (Ministry of Education, intermediary bodies, development bodies, professional communities, principals, and teachers, etc.) to execute research and development projects. Each of the partners brings its resources and strengths to the collaborative project. Together, we focus on the educational challenge, create relevant knowledge through research, and translate the knowledge into tools and resources by creating an array of research-based pedagogical developments.

​​Literacy coaching as a lever for change in underachieving schools: Promising practices, contexts, and professional discretion​

​Literacy coaching - coaching language teachers by a literacy coach - is considered a significant lever for improving teaching and learning processes and improving student achievements. Studies have shown that successful coaching largely depends on the organizational and structural aspects of the context as well as the coach-teacher relationship. The purpose of the research and development partnership between Meisharim-​Turnaround Schools and the Center is to describe and obtain an in-depth understand of the literacy coaching work provided in the schools and its effect, while recognizing that literacy coaches work in a complex field that affects the way they fulfill their position.

The project's research work entails documentation of interactions between coaches and teachers, classroom observations, observation of student learning outcomes, observations of coach training sessions, and interviews with school principals and other position holders. The project's development activities include the development of written case studies focusing on promising instruction and teaching practices.  These are designed to be used by coaches, teachers, and heads of the training programs and the Meisharim project, during learning processes.  The development team is comprised of members filling different roles, including researchers, literacy coaches, and representatives of the Ministry of Education.​

Project Team








The principal and middle leadership - structure, function, and implications

​Who are the middle managers in schools? What is the principal's role in selecting them? What does their training and professional development entail? How is their work organized in school routines? The purpose of the R&D partnership between the Avney Rosha Institute and the Center is to develop various professional models for the management of middle managers in schools. The study focuses on large schools where the middle managers are a key component for effective school leadership. The study addresses several aspects related to the functioning of middle managers: job placement and definition, establishing procedures and routines for the position, allocating the proper resources, and establishing systems for evaluation and feedback of the work of middle managers.

The research and development work consists of two stages: The first stage includes characterizing and modeling the work of the principal and middle managers, while the validity of the findings and models to be identified in the first stage will be examined in the second stage. The development of theoretical products is among the partnership deliverables - models for conceptualizing the training of the principal to work with the middle managers and the work of the middle managers themselves, as well as practical products, e.g. leadership and development tools for middle managers, rich case studies, and guidelines for a workshop for the development of managers for establishing a stable and effective middle management workforce. The research and development are conducted in collaboration between a team from the Center and a team from the Avney Rusha Institute.


Meaningful learning through academically productive dialogue

​Classroom dialogue is viewed as a main component in promoting learning and thought processes, 21st century skills, improving student achievements, and establishing values of respect, listening and tolerance of different voices and perceptions in the school. This is a field study for examining the interrelationships between classroom discourse and cognitive skills, learning motivation and academic achievements. The research and development in the academically productive dialogue program deals with professional and classroom contexts and conditions that either impede or promote the development of academically productive dialogue.

The research work is based on the principle of partnership between researchers and practitioners, and included a joint development process among teachers, instructors, and researchers in which the partners developed study units and tools for leading an academically productive dialogue in teaching language in the fourth to sixth grades. The professional resources formed the basis for formal and informal professional development processes and classroom applications, which are examined throughout the years of the study by the team of researchers. The research was conducted between 2017-2021 and was funded by the Israel Science Foundation, as a Center for Excellence, in collaboration with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.



Promoting gender equity in classroom discourse

​Studies show that language and discourse patterns in the classroom are rife with gender bias, which affect the learning experience of students and shape their identity. Intervention studies aimed at neutralizing these biases have succeeded to some extent in changing the teachers' attitudes, but everyday biases embedded in classroom discourse remain unchanged. To bridge the knowledge gap on effective strategies to tackle this challenge, the research and development partnership between the Center for the Study of Pedagogy – Research-Practice Partnerships and the Israeli Center for Gender Equality in Education is examining how to promote gender equity in classroom discourse. The partnership includes a design and development process accompanied by research in which teachers, instructors, and researchers are partners in achieving the following goals: Development of standards and criteria for detecting, measuring and understanding gender biases in classroom discourse; development of practices, tools and study materials for the classroom teacher to mitigate gender biases, as well as the preparation of materials to present the tools, and to understand them and the main considerations for using them; improving the developments of the tools based on practical experience and reflection; conceptualization, accessibility, sharing and wide dissemination of practical and theoretical knowledge. The research work includes documentation of interactions at development team meetings, the various development products, classroom observations, observation of students' learning outcomes and interviews with teachers and students.


Development of professional knowledge to be used by pedagogical instructors

Pedagogical instructors are a central link in the training of teaching students for their prospective role as teachers, as they are entrusted with creating the connections between the theoretical knowledge learned in the courses and the practical knowledge acquired during their practical experience in the schools. Pedagogical instructors meet the teaching students in group courses and guide them through each one's personal experience in the school to which he/she is assigned. Because of the centrality and importance of their role and for them to fill this role optimally, they must specialize and acquire skills in diverse fields, the main ones being: one (or more) of the fields of knowledge taught at the school, teaching K-12 students, training teachers, and mentoring teaching students. To date, there are no substantial professional prerequisites for pedagogical instructors, and there is no mandatory training course for engaging in pedagogical instruction. Moreover, there is no standard and generally accepted foundation for the professional development of pedagogical instructors over the years. While some teacher training institutions recognize the need to support pedagogical instructors, most pedagogical instructors are not partners in the professional development processes that will help them develop their expertise in the various fields.

Against this background, three organizations joined together—the Center for the Study of Pedagogy – Research-Practice Partnerships, the R&D Unit for Clinically-based Teacher Education at the MOFET Institute, and the David Yellin College of Education - with the goal of jointly leading a program for the development of practice-based professional knowledge for pedagogical instructors and advance the structural foundation for this position. At the heart of the program is the establishment and operation of a development community consisting of pedagogical instructors from several colleges nationwide. The community operates according to the principles of practice-based research and examines core practices in the work of pedagogical instructors. In addition, later in the project, the partner pedagogical instructors in the community will lead professional learning communities in the colleges where they work, thus expanding the circles of discourse and adding more pedagogical instructors to the professional development and peer learning processes. In this project, research and development activities are intertwined and research feeds back into the development process and provides information used by development community leaders and community members.


Pedagogical practices f​or homeroom teachers working with at-risk and socially excluded youth

This project aims to explore and develop discourse and practices of homeroom teachers working with children and youth livin​g in poverty and social exclusion through a partnership with the network of Etgarim schools of the Branco Weiss Institute. The project is based on a collaborative study in two high schools in a socially and geographically marginalized area that educate at-risk youth. The study has three main parts: The first part includes informal meetings, interviews, and observations in the schools with the aim of getting to know the main characters and understanding their viewpoints and perceptions as well as the practices they employ. The second part is of a workshop nature and includes discussions of the school staff with the research team on the body of knowledge on poverty awareness. The third part of the study consists of discussions and reflections on the practice. In this context, there will be meetings between the school staff and the research team to discuss the dilemmas faced by the school staff and relevant ways to deal with them for the purpose of learning and developing shared knowledge.

The collaborative work in this framework will facilitate: (1) Identifying and mapping perceptions, discourse, and practices of homeroom teachers working with at-risk and socially-excluded youth, (2) joint development of a poverty- and social exclusion-aware pedagogical paradigm, as well as conceptualizing and improving supportive pedagogical practices.