Professor Anat Yarden is Head of the Department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Head of the Biology Group at this Department. She holds an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Sciences (from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), a master’s degree and a PhD in molecular biology (from the Weizmann Institute of Science), and has carried out postdoctoral training in Genetics (at Stanford University).
The primary theme in all of her academic activities has been the attempt to adapt practices employed by scientists to the processes by which students and teachers accumulate and advance their knowledge within the discipline of biology. Towards this end, her group pioneered the adaption of primary scientific literature for the teaching and learning of biology in high schools. Her group had also been a pioneer in adapting currently used bioinformatics tools and databases for the teaching and learning of biology in high schools, thus facilitating authentic scientific research using school computers.
Prof. Yarden leads several projects for high-school biology teachers’ professional development, including the National Center for High-School Biology Teachers of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Professional Learning Communities of high-school biology teachers, and the biology path in The Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Education.
She is also one of the leaders of a Center of Excellence of the Israel Science Foundation aimed to promote dialogue-based instruction and group discussions around controversial texts in school classrooms. Additionally, she is one of the leaders of an initiative aimed to advance Personalized Teaching and Learning (PeTeL) in high-school science classrooms, through the empowerment of teachers by continuously providing them information on-line about their students’ performance.