In 2011, the Israel National Academy of Sciences commissioned a comprehensive survey of mathematics teachers in Israel from the Central Bureau of Statistics. The survey was based on official national data and presented a broad snapshot of mathematics teachers including age, experience, education, scope of work and additional roles.The results of this survey, which revealed the emerging shortage of high school mathematics teachers and their lack of appropriate training, resulted in a public discourse at the Knesset, academic conferences, and in the media.However, this survey targeted mathematics teachers in secondary schools as a whole group, forming a wide angle perspective on both junior high school and upper secondary teachers together, and on the basic, medium and advanced tracks of learning. The survey showed that high schools hire mathematics teachers, even if they lack the proper training and qualifications, because mathematics is a compulsorymatriculation subject and demand is high.
Since the Trump Foundation’s focus is on expanding the circle of students studying the advanced five-unit level, our activity is aimed at the teachers of these tracks. The previous survey however, includes very limited specific information about the teachers who teach advanced levels. This information would be significant for initiating programs and decision-making within the foundation and for policy makers and professional developers who are interested in similar goals.
Therefore, and at the recommendation of the foundation’s Advisory Council, we are commissioning a study of the professional profile of high school mathematics teachers of the advanced level five-unit tracks. The study will shed light on these teachers, looking at the scope of their teaching, their working conditions, their education and their teaching experience. It will identify the way in which they perceive students who are suitable to study mathematics at advanced levels. It will also explore how many advanced track mathematics teachers there are in each school, and how many have taught advanced levels within the last five years. It will examine teamwork between the school’s mathematics teachers, the support for teaching and learning in their schools, and their professional development.
The survey will be executed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education by an education research institute selected by the foundation. The survey will take place over eight months, and will be based on questionnaires and focus groups of between four to six groups of approximately ten participants in each. The findings and final report will be shared with the professional community via the foundation’s website.
* The text above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors / Grant 80