In Israel there is no wide-reaching survey of teachers and as a result little is known about their opinions and experiences. In practice, teachers are rarely consulted, even when decisions made affect their practice. It is not uncommon for government policy, research plans or program initiatives to be prepared without adequately considering the perspectives of teachers. This is a somewhat awkward situation, since teachers hold a unique viewpoint on central questions which affect them, for instance, what does effective and ineffective teaching looks like; how do the best teachers become so effective; and what should be done in order to advance the teaching profession.
In order to partially fill this void, we would like to commission a university, research institute or a highly respected researcher, to conduct a qualitative survey among excellent teachers in order to solicit their professional opinion on a number of issues surrounding their work. The survey would target secondary school mathematics and science teachers from the pool of candidates of the Trump Master Teacher Award, excellent teachers who are involved in the foundation’s projects, and those who advise our work. They will be asked a wide set of questions, ranging from their views about standardized testing, and innovative teaching approaches, to how they think effective teaching should be nurtured and supported.
The survey will be modeled after a similar survey which was recently published in the US, by the New Teacher Project (TNTP). In the American report titled ‘Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers’, TNTP identified and collected detailed survey responses from 117 of America’s best teachers. Our intention, as in the US, is to share the Israeli report with policy makers, teacher trainers, researchers, and the foundation’s grantees. If completed as planned and on time, the report will also inform the joint learning process on the issue of master teachers that is now in preparation at the National Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
* The text above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors / Grant 97