M.Sc Thesis


M.Sc StudentLarisa Eidelman
SubjectGender and Sector-Based Analysis of Israeli High School
Computer Science Studies
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit


Abstract

The low participation of women in the computing studies is recognized worldwide. As it turns out, the situation is similar among high school students as well. However, at the same time, in Israel no gender-related research that focuses on high school students studying CS in general and female students particularly, has ever been conducted. The research presents a study focusing on high school students studying advanced-level CS. Based on data collected in Israel, significant differences were found in the percentages of female high school students studying advanced-level CS among different sectors. More specifically, while the percentage of female high school students studying advanced-level CS is about 50% for the Arab minority sector, the percentage of female students studying CS at the same level among the Jewish majority sector is only about 25%. This situation prompted the initiation of the research, which goal is to examine the factors involved in enrollment and persistence of Israeli high school students in advanced-level CS studies. The research sample consisted of 12th grade CS students from 9 typical high schools, from both sectors. The research examines both gender and cultural differences among Israeli high school students studying advanced-level CS and applied both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The research results described according to a theoretical framework selected for data analysis as well as for data representation and explanation. The theoretical framework is based on Eccles and her colleagues' model of achievement-related choices. The research results reveal a complex and multidimensional picture of choice and persistence considerations being taken and discern gender and sector differences within various different groups of students. In addition to the theoretical review and the presentation of findings, research importance is explained by the practical and theoretical contributions of the research findings. Moreover, the research presents a number of practical recommendations.