טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentLevy Eliahu
SubjectWays and Strategies, Using Mathematics, to the Heart
of Youth at Risk
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Abraham Berman
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The present research discusses ways and strategies that may help youth at risk through mathematics education.  The research question is which teaching strategies may contribute in enhancing youth at risk, within the framework of individual lessons in mathematics?

The answer to this question, using personal reflection, is given by presenting five lessons given by the author to youngsters, studying in a school for youth at risk, in one of the peripheral towns. In that school, most of the students' parents are immigrants from Ethiopia, who are still facing difficulties with absorption and assimilation in Israel.

Most of these immigrants are of low socioeconomic status, and, as a consequence, have difficulties in helping their children or control them in their learning at school. Mainly due to those reasons, their children are in a poor literacy status and they usually have troubles in school.

Each of the presented five lessons is divided to episodes. Each episode is followed by a reflection on the events in the episode.

Typically, the following subjects are discussed in the reflections: (1) the quality of contact and approach to the youngsters participating in the lesson, (2) the communication continuation with the  class participants, (3) the description and analysis of the strategies used in the episode, (4) the author’s successes and failures in teaching mathematics in that same episode, (5) the students’ quality of connection to the subjects in the lesson, (6) students' special strategies in dealing with the lesson’s subjects, (7) enhancement of  the cognitive and emotional engagements  of the students,  (8) special events related to the study environment.

The summarizing discussion focuses on the strategies that have been used in the lessons. The strategies are divided into five categories:

 (a) Strategies that contributed to the personal connection of the author to the students .   (b) Didactic strategies that contributed to the quality of teaching and lesson procedure.

 (c) Mathematical-didactic strategies. (d) Strategies that contributed to crisis management, especially with regard to lack of self-confidence.  (e) Strategies that contributed to leverage the students’ successes, at any level or direction.

Each strategy is accompanied by a reflection, which may examine the reasons, ways and situations in which that strategy has been used. The reflections are followed by a mapping to places along the lessons, where use of the strategy is evident and by a list of supporting studies related to and supporting that particular strategy, if that particular strategy supporting literature has not been previously described in the Background Literature.


It is the author's hope that the present study will contribute to any attempt to help youth at risk through mathematics education .