This definition is based on the products of the national initiative to strengthen science education (5*2) and on the work of the U.S. National Research Council (2012) on the subject of Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century, definitions of levels of excellence in the OECD’s PISA examinations, the Israeli curriculum in mathematics, physics and chemistry, and analysis of new curricula in a number of countries around the world.
Gradually building a broad and deep knowledge base, which enables students to conceptualize, generalize, extrapolate and apply, based on research they conducted and models for complex situations they designed. They see the different aspects of the problem, know how to precisely articulate and explain their thoughts and actions, and do so in order to explain phenomena, solve problems and create new knowledge.
They develop logical, spatial and algorithmic thinking as well as creative and critical thinking. They are able to plan and explain experimental methodology as they make complex links between fields, relationships, sources of knowledge and different representations. They flexibly translate between them, choose, compare, and evaluate problem-solving strategies and draw conclusions at a high level of abstraction.
They enjoy challenges and problem solving, take responsibility for their studies, are prepared to persevere, invest and review, and to withstand difficulties and stressful situations, while demonstrating consistency, determination and patience. They learn from mistakes, long to engage with complex, open-ended and unfamiliar situations, and are assisted in this by resourcefulness, creativity and high interpersonal communication and collaborative abilities.
They set ambitious goals for themselves and strive for truth, resolution, success, and breakthroughs as they internalize the limitations of science and the principle of doubt. They demonstrate integrity, ethics and fairness as well as tolerance and openness to diverse opinions and to their own and others’ mistakes. They are aware of the moral responsibility stemming from the use of scientific knowledge and take action to improve the society in which they live.