טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentEdri Yael
SubjectIntegrating Values Education with Mathematics
Education in the High School Level
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Nitsa Movshovitz-Hada
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

According to the Israel education-law (1953, 2000) values-education and knowledge-conveyance are the two key-components of student’s education. This study focuses on integrating values-education in the process of conveying knowledge, particularly in mathematics.

The Israel ministry-of-education formal policy documents, the official state-of-Israel mathematics-curriculum, and the introductions to 75 mathematics textbooks were analyzed, showing a gap between the legislator’s intentions, and the availability of means for their realization. 

A preliminary study examined common perceptions about integrating values-education and mathematics-education among: 12 mathematicians, 6 mathematics-education state-leaders, 46 high-school mathematics teachers, and 273 1st-year engineering students who recently graduated high-school. In these groups skepticism with respect to the possibility of integrating values-education with mathematics instruction, was the most frequent finding. The majority also saw some personal values as inherent to mathematics, but no social ones.

To identify opportunities for values-education in the state-of-Israel official middle-school mathematics-curriculum, a 3-month thought-experiment was conducted in 2007, yielding SHaAR-CHaM - a file consisting of 47 exemplary activities content-validated by experts.

During 2008-9 an action-research was conducted in 153 mathematics lessons in 7th-8th grade yielding a feasibility-proof of integrating values-education with mathematics-education, while student achievements in mathematics did not decrease in comparison with their past year achievements, and the required progress along the mathematics-curriculum was also maintained.

Additionally, during 2008 an intervention-study was carried-out in 7 high-schools, consisting of 71 experimental lessons planned and implemented by 12 professional teachers, in their classes, to integrate values-education with mathematics-education. These lessons covered all 11 topics in the 8th-grade official state-of-Israel mathematics-curriculum. Analysis of the experimenting-teachers’ reports showed that the teachers planned and implemented the incorporation of a large variety of social values in addition to personal ones.

These teachers also reported to have developed personal awareness and a sense of responsibility for integrating values-education with mathematics-education, and that it affected both their way of planning and their way of teaching mathematics.

The action-research and the intervention-study support the practical feasibility of the integration between values-education and mathematics-education. Consequently, the tendency to separate them was found unjustified, to say the least.

Based upon the findings of this study, it is recommended that values-education is integrated as part of mathematics-education in other age-groups and in other school-subjects in order to achieve the educational objectives set by the State-of-Israel education law.

This study intentionally avoided testing the effect on students' values-system as values-education is a long-term process. This challenge is left for a future longitudinal-study.