|Ph.D Student||Edri Yael|
|Subject||Integrating Values Education with Mathematics|
Education in the High School Level
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Nitsa Movshovitz-Hada|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
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.