This study aimed at exploring the practices and beliefs physics teachers have about
introducing reform-based instruction into the physics class. Data were collected from
semi-structured interviews held with 11 experienced physics teachers. The results revealed
that the teachers occasionally introduced a small number of enhanced instructional
strategies explicitly required by the formal curriculum into their class, such as presenting,
analyzing and generalizing experimental results in different forms. However, the teachers
used much fewer other strategies aimed at enhancing higher-order thinking, such as asking
students to formulate their own questions or introducing them to problem-solving
strategies used in class. Although physics is considered a relatively well-established subject
in Israeli schools, extensive differences have been identified among teachers in issues such
as using rich instructional strategies in class, their self-confidence in utilizing progressive
instruction, and their beliefs about students’ abilities to develop higher-order thinking.
Teachers often regard reform-based instruction as an idealistic view rather than a clear
schooling practice; further work is required in teachers’ pre-service and in-service training
to make the fostering of higher-order thinking a common ingredient in science teaching.