Welcome to Dr. Orland-Barak’s Web-Page
University of Haifa
Faculty of Education, Department of Learning and Instructional Sciences
Teacher education and professional learning is about critically reframing and making transparent our pedagogical reasoning as informed by the educational, moral, and political commitments that guide our practice.
/ Full Professor, Phd.
/ Present Dean of Graduate Studies Authority, University of Haifa
/ Former Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa
/ Former Head of the Department of Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education
/ Former Head of the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching of English as a foreign language in Israel
/ Associate Editor, Journal of Teacher Education
/ Associate Editor, Teaching and Teacher Education
/ Associate Editor, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
/ Executive Editor, Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
I was born and grew up in Chile and have lived and worked in Israel since 1971. My research activities lie in three complementary areas within the field of Teacher Education: Mentoring and the development of expertise, learning by professionals and learning in the workplace. My professional work is grounded in a strong ideological, educational, and pedagogical position on the crucial importance of the applied conceptualization of teacher learning and teacher education or, put differently, on the need for grounding theory in practical action. My own initial teaching and mentoring experience, during my doctoral studies, became a strong incentive to engage in systematic examination of mentoring and teacher learning in teacher education. I realized that the field needed to develop a multidisciplinary research agenda to provide evidence-based insights into questions related to the nexus of educational, pedagogical, moral, and political commitments that shape the work of teaching and teacher education. The empirical knowledge accumulated since my doctoral studies and throughout my career has contributed to new conceptualizations, analytical frameworks and methodological practices in the field, and is open to constant scrutiny and on-going re-examination.
Mentoring and the development of expertise
My doctoral dissertation, completed in 1997, marked the beginning of my research commitment to the study of mentoring. Focusing on learning to mentor, the findings of my study suggested that the passage from being a teacher of children to becoming a mentor of adult teachers is a highly conscious and gradual process of reorganizing and reconstructing beliefs and understandings from one professional domain to another. Conceptualized as analogous to learning a second language of teaching, the findings of my 1997 study were disseminated in several publications at the time. Years later, and informed by important findings from studies conducted in other contexts and by my own investigations, my conceptualization of the passage to mentoring expertise broadened to include a view of the practice as socially constructed and understood within the particular community within which it is created and sustained, underscoring issues of morality, expertise, context, political conditions and power relations that play out in mentored learning and in learning to mentor. This expanded perspective called for broadening the focus of investigation from the acquisition of skills to how the contexts within which mentors work shape the character of their work, the practices that they develop, and the nature of the passage from school teaching to effective mentoring. The notion of learning in praxis, stressing the complexities of the meeting between ideologies and action in a particular institutional, cultural, and historical context thus became central to my post-doctoral investigations. My evolving understanding of learning-to-mentor as an intellectual, cultural and contextual activity culminated in the publication of my authored book 'Learning to mentor-as-praxis: Foundations for a curriculum in teacher education', New York: Springer Science & Business Media. Drawing on socio-cultural perspectives on professional learning, the book offers a new conceptualization of the practical and discursive character of mentoring, underscoring learning to mentor as the development of an interrelated set of competencies rather than as a straightforward process of acquiring discrete skills. The book was awarded the Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award at the 2010 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting for the advancement of knowledge in the field of mentoring in teaching and teacher education.
Following this work, I have extended the above perspective to include the development of professional expertise, the study of collaborative knowledge construction in professional conversations, methodological conceptualizations on the study of professional learning and ethical and cultural groundings of mentoring and mentored learning and their effects on teaching. Drawing on qualitative-interpretative paradigms of research, studies in this area integrate emic and etic approaches to data collection, analysis and interpretation, including the use of multiple methods of data triangulation: semi-structured interviews-as-conversations; methodology of critical incidents, observations, methodologies of visual literacy, simulated video recall and narrative. Additional publications delve, in addition, into aspects of mentoring-as- praxis that relate to historical, cultural and disciplinary aspects of mentoring , while also examining the use of innovative methodological tools and frameworks adapted from Critical Discourse Analysis, Cultural Historical Activity Theory and visual methodologies.
Mediated Professional Learning and the Study of Teacher Education Pedagogy
During the past years I have become particularly engaged in studying how professional mediation is understood and manifested in the design of pedagogies and methodologies in teacher education curricula across cultural and geographical contexts. Two major publications and projects reflect this direction: (1) A three-volume Handbook (co-edited with Professor Cheryl Craig) entitled "The Handbook of International Pedagogies" published by Emerald Press. The three-volume handbook critically explores the design and enactment of researched innovative pedagogies in teacher education in 36 countries. The Handbook constitutes a first attempt at a global survey of teacher- education pedagogies with a focus on cultural, practical, theoretical and policy perspectives, as these pedagogies operate in particular local settings (2) A co-authored book with Dr. Ditza Maskit "Methodologies of Mediation in Professional Learning", published by Springer, where I am main and leading author in collaboration. The book offers a heuristic, conceptual framework for understanding the theoretical roots, the processes and pedagogies, and expected outcomes of nine recognized methodologies of mediation in teacher learning: The story, the visual text, the case, the video, the simulation, the portfolio, lesson study, action research and communicative technologies.
Teacher Learning and Performance in the Workplace
Connected to the above line of inquiry on the mediation of professional learning, I have also recently focused extensively on investigating how workplace context mediates the learning of novice teachers in the initial stages of their careers. This has been enabled by a three-year research project together with Dr. Tzafrir Goldberg titled "From teacher learning to teacher performance" which adopts an ecological perspective and employs mixed methods to identify patterns of learning, environmental effects on patterns of teacher learning and the connections of all these to observed teacher performance. An additional ramification of my study of learning in the workplace pertains to student teacher learning in field-practice. Following this line of inquiry, and focusing on pre-service education, I have published several studies that shed light on how practice, as a context for learning, influences student teacher learning.
Mentoring and Teacher Learning in the Hybrid Practice Teaching Space
Since the outburst of COVID 19 , and in collaboration with colleagues from the Weitzman Institute of Science (Dr. Ron Blonder), Lewinsky College of Education (Dr. Alona Forkosh-Baruch) and the University of Haifa (Dr. Alexandra Saad). we are leading a three stage large-scale mixed method study aimed at identifying and describing the knowledge domains that expert teachers developed during the transitioning to the digital teaching space and on the basis of the findings from the first stage, to propose a model of teacher learning in the hybrid practice teaching space.
The Study of Professional Learning and Education Across Professions
As a natural extension of my research on teacher education, I plan to establish a platform for academic discussion and for the study of teacher education in an era of globalization and immigration across nations. My aim is to develop a comprehensive model for professional learning. Focusing on pre-service, in-service learning in the workplace and in the context of induction, I aim to further knowledge and understanding of the purpose, character, quality, and practice of teacher education for the professional development of teachers. This work may also have implications for other professional fields such as nursing, engineering, social work, and the arts and sciences. I hope to extend this line of research towards the future establishment of an Institute/Center aimed at systematically studying, developing and implementing models of professional learning, geared to the acquisition of 21st century competencies and skills. I envision the center as a joint collaboration with a variety of countries and nations, one that crosses cultural and geographical areas.
Methodologies of Mediation in Professional Learning
3 Volumes series: International Teacher Education: Promising Pedagogies (Part A, B, C), Craig C.& Orland-Barak L. (Eds.)
Learning to Mentor-as-Praxis: Foundations for a Curriculum in Teacher Education
Paths for Mentoring Teachers: Guide to the Perplexed (Hebrew)
Strahovsky R., Hertz-Lazarovitz, R., & Orland-Barak, L.
Teachers learning in communities: International Perspectives
On the Spot
Dr. Orland-Barak is selected to a 2022 AERA fellow
Welcome Lily to the class of 2022 AERA Fellows!
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has announced the selection of Lily Orland-Barak to an honorable and exemplary group of education researchers, who have earned the prestigious rank of AERA Fellow this year.
The AERA Fellows Program honors education researchers for their exceptional scholarship and significant contributions to the field.
They will be inducted during a ceremony at the 2022 Annual Meeting in San Diego on April 22.
Dr. Orland-Barak wins the Huberman Award 2021
Congratulations to Lily on being honored with the prestigious Michael Huberman Award for Excellence in Research on the Lives of Teachers from the American Educational Research Association. The award, sponsored by the Lives of Teachers Special Interest Group, is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to understanding the life of teachers.
In announcing the award, the Judges Committee noted that Dr. Orland-Barak is being recognized as a "ground-breaking researcher, whose work has extended the conceptualization of teachers' expertise, life-long learning and professional development through numerous theoretical and empirical studies in both national and international contexts"
Dr. Orland-Barak wins the Literati Award 2020
Congratulations to Lily on being honored with the 2020 Literati Award through Emerald Publishing. The paper she authored together with Dr. Aya Ben-Harush, entitled "Triadic mentoring in early childhood teacher education: The role of relational agency" was published in International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education and was recognized as an Outstanding Paper, indicating it was one of the most exceptional papers published in the journal in 2019.