Israel is facing a consistent and continuous decline in the number of high school graduates taking the advanced track of mathematics, from an average of 15% of the cohort to approximately 10%. There are various causes for this phenomenon, some of which relate to the perception by students and their parents, as well as by schools and teachers, of the future benefits of learning mathematics. It seems that although the job market in Israel favors graduates of mathematics, science and technology tracks, the majority of Israelis have not yet been persuaded that learning these subjects will improve their quality of life prospects.
The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel proposes to investigate this puzzle and to inform the professional community and the public about the results. Established in 1982, the Taub Center is an independent non-profit research institute which specializes in longitudinal and integrative studies of education, welfare, healthcare and the labor market in Israel. As per the foundation’s request, the Taub Center is now preparing for a research focusing on those high school students who graduated an advanced learning track in mathematics.
The research will utilize data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and will follow the lives of high school graduates over the past fifteen years. It will look into their preferences and achievement in higher education as well as their career choices and earnings. The data will be analyzed according to gender, place of residence, family status and ethnic and religious affiliations. It will be compared to parallel data regarding the graduates of the medium level learning track in mathematics in order to expose similarities and differences.
The findings will be prepared in the form of a printed and a digital report which will be published to the professional community and the general public free of charge. A professional conference will be convened by the Taub Center to present the research and to discuss its results with experts, policy makers and teachers. It is hoped that the results will contribute to the consideration of students, parents and teachers when they face the selection and advising the selection of a learning track in mathematics in high school.
* The text above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors / Grant 61