Prof. Izhak Berkovich

Discipline: Education

Expert in: education Management and policy 

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Key words: Digital protest and activism in education; Digital school leadership; Educational administration, leadership, and policy.

What motivated you to pursue research in the field of education and technology in learning systems? Was there a particular experience or event that sparked your interest?
My motivation to pursue research in the field of education and technology in learning systems began over 15 years ago when I had the opportunity to conduct a study examining Israel's 64-day teachers' strike in 2007. Specifically, I explored the political strategies used by teachers to oppose educational reform. Interestingly, these strategies were not mobilized by unions but by individual teachers and ad-hoc groups who heavily relied on the internet, including teachers' weblogs and partisan school websites, to communicate their messages to the public. Their successful harnessing of public opinion intrigued me.

These teachers recognized the limitations of mainstream media attention and the ministry's influence in shaping the narrative within mainstream media. As a result, they turned to new media platforms, understanding their potential to gain the upper hand and mobilize public support. This realization highlighted the importance of technology and strategic communication in the field of education, teacher advocacy, and policy-making processes.

Consequently, this experience ignited my interest and motivation to pursue research in this area. I recognized the potential impact that effective utilization of technology and strategic communication could have on transforming education systems, empowering teachers, and shaping policies that benefit students and educators alike.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and trends in your research field? Are there any specific conferences, journals, or online communities you actively engage with?
The field of educational administration, leadership, and policy hosts several conferences worldwide. The prominent international conferences include the AERA (American Educational Research Association) annual meeting in the United States, the UCEA (University Council for Educational Administration) annual meeting in the United States, the CIES (Comparative and International Education Society) annual meeting, and the BELMAS (British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society) annual meeting in the UK. In Israel, there is an annual meeting of educational administration departments, as well as the bi-annual meeting of the Israeli Comparative Education Society.

In my academic pursuits, I actively engage with various journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Management Administration and Leadership, Journal of Educational Administration, Journal of Educational Change, Leadership and Policy in Schools, Journal of Education Policy, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Comparative Education Review. Furthermore, I am a subscriber to several mailing lists of AERA, including Division A: Administration, Organization, & Leadership, Educational Change SIG, and School Improvement SIG.

By actively participating in conferences and staying up-to-date with influential journals and mailing lists, I ensure that I remain informed about the latest research, trends, and developments in the field of educational administration, leadership, and policy. This enables me to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of knowledge and practice in this domain.

As a researcher, how do you balance theoretical exploration with practical implementation? How do you ensure that your research findings can be translated into tangible solutions for educational settings?
As a researcher specializing in the field of educational change, I firmly believe that understanding the intricacies of change—specifically context and complexity—within our research is crucial in generating knowledge that can catalyze meaningful and sustainable improvements in educational systems in practice. I view educational contexts as multifaceted, encompassing socio-cultural, political, and economic dimensions that considerably influence the processes and outcomes of educational change. In considering the complexity of change, I acknowledge that behaviors, circumstances, and processes are multidimensional. I strongly believe that capturing these nuanced aspects in their entirety is essential to producing knowledge that truly resonates with practitioners and contributes to real-world enhancements in education.

Shifting focus to the intersection of educational change and technology, I am dedicated to comprehending how technology impacts both internal and external educational environments. My approach involves a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted role technology plays in education. This not only includes the potential benefits of technology but also addresses the challenges and unintended consequences that could result from its implementation.

By comprehensively studying these aspects, my goal is to contribute knowledge that helps educational practitioners navigate the complex interplay of technology and education, ultimately leading to more effective and equitable educational systems.