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Israel - TOMORROW 98 (전체)
Report of the Superior Committee on Science, mathematics and Technology Education in Israel (Jerusalem, August 1992)
1. Today, knowledge of science and technology is the most important economic asset. More than ever before, the industrial production, economic strength and military power of a nation are dependent on its population's scientific and technological qualifications. Comprehensive and advanced education in science and technology is at the base of every success and innovation in a wide variety of fields, including defense, industry, agriculture, energy, health, communications and the environment. The scientific infrastructure may be perceived as a plant which yields fruit after a decade or two. Education in science and technology lies at the heart of the scientific infrastructure.
Recommendations: The State of Isreal should delare a national program to strengthen, deepen and improve studies in mathematics, the natural sciences and technology in all spheres of the education system, in an effort to prepare the next generation of Israeli citizens for life in the scientific-technological We recommend a number of courses of action that would be implemented over the next five years. The implication is that we will achieve significant progress in these areas by 1998, the jubilee anniversary of the State of Israel. We suggest calling this program "Tomorrow 98".
2. Today - and even more in the future - mathematics, science and technology are part of the general education required of every contributing member of society. Naturally, we do not claim that every person must be a scientist. Nonetheless, a certain ability to think quantitatively and scientifically, the capability to understand and grasp a scientific or technological problem, and an understanding of the basic rules of the language of mathematics, science and technology are essential components in training future professionals, politicians, or any other profession that requires a basic education. A basic knowledge of science and technology is no less vital for the advancement of the less privileged sectors of society, and a special effort should be made in this direction.
Recommendations: Instruction in mathematics, science and technology should be expanded to include all students in pre-school, elementary school and junior high schook, as well as high school students (in both academic and technical tracks) who do not receive a broad education in the sciences. This requires, in part, specially-trained mathematics teachers at the elementary school level, additional hours for mathematics, science and technology at the junior high school level, and making science and technology part of the required high school curriculum.
3. Today, science and mathematics are interrelated and they can affect one another in a variety of unexpected ways. Mathematics and science are the basis for all technological innovations. The boundaries between biology and biotechnology, computer science and electronics, and physics and most technological fields are artificial and outdated. Fields like environmental science, energy and agriculture cannot be defined as either science or technology, having elements of both. In the past, technology was considered more of a skill, and work in a technological field did not directly and profoundly involve science. Today, every technological occupation demands an interdisciplinary scientific background.
Recommendations: We must integrate courses in science and technology in the curriculum of students who do not choose to enter a scientific or technological track in high school. The integrated program of science and technology in pre-school and elementary school should be expanded. A discipline that incorporates both science and technology should be introduced in the junior high school on a wide scale. Science studies should be expanded in all specializations and tracks of technological education, just as technological stu should be offered in academic high schools.
4. Although technologies change quickly, their basic principles remain valid. In many fields, a new technology is "born" every five years or so. In electronics, computers and biotechnology, the changes sometimes occur even faster. It would be both pointless and illogical to discuss the details of the changing technologies in the classroom. This is simply not practical: even if it were, the high school student would be specializing in a technology that will have disappeared by the time s/he finishes army service. The basic principles on which the technologies are based, however, remain constant.
Recommendations; In a time of rapid technological and scientific change, teaching the basic disciplines has become particularly crucial. The study of mathematics at all age-levels and in all learning environments is more important than ever, and mathematics should be expanded and emphasized especially for weaker students. The relationship between science and technology courses in technological education should be revised, and additional science studies added.
5. The teacher plays a central role in science and technology instruction. The best programs and the best-equipped laboratories will not prove themselves without good teachers. In the end, every subject in the education system stands or falls on the quality, qualifications and dedication of its teachers.
Recommendations: Our recommendations are that teachers should be trained to specialize in teaching mathematics at the elementary school level: computers should be intensively integrated into the teacher training process, in all disciplines and for all age-levels of the education system; technical assistance should be given to teachers who operate laboratories' a range of in-service training workshops should be offered to teachers in all fields of science and technology; support and guidance centers should be established for teachers of science and technology as well as for those who use computers to teach different disciplines; professional journals should be published for educators who teach different scientific and technological subjects; we should create incentives for teachers in development areas and disadvantaged neighborhoods.
6. Science and technology require experiments and laboratories. The academic side in science and technology education is vitally important. Nonetheless, a scientific theory that has not been confirmed by experiments has no validity, and it is agreed that purely theoretical studies have no place in technological fields. Scientific experimentation, laboratory time and hands-on work with scientific phenomena and technological systems play a central role in the learning process.
Recommendations; The integration of laboratories in all subjects and at all age-levels should be emphasized. This requires building additional science rooms and laboratories in elementary and junior high schools, constructing science corners in pre-schools, updating and upgrading the equipment in the existing laboratories, ensuring that professionals will maintain and use the equipment properly, and most important, a complete and continual integration of academic studies and laboratory experimentation.
7. The computer is an extremely important teaching tool in all subjects, at all age-levels. The flexibility and versatility of the computer are unique. One machine can be a thinking tool, database, instrument for practicing basic skills, state-of-the-art typewriter, electronic encyclopedia, mail box and communication tool. More advanced computers have the capability of storing a collection of photographs of art works, a selection of musical compositions, or an illustrated encyclopedia, and can simulate scientific and technological experiments. These all have a variety of uses in every aspect of life, as well as in the teaching of the humanities, social sciences, art, and, of course, the natural sciences, at all age-levels from pre-school to advanced studies. Every Israeli must be able to take full advantage of the computer, and the education system is responsible for enabling him/her to do so in all possible ways.
Recommendations: Computers should be introduced into all educational institutions, at all levels and in all subjects. This large-scale campaign shou include purchasing equipment, developing courseware packages, instructing teachers, and establishing and expanding support centers for teachers. The computer will be integrated as a teaching aid in the curriculum; hands-on use of computers will be encouraged in training new teachers in all subjects; an extensive series of in-service teacher training workshops will be conducted on the subject of integrating the computer into teaching.
8. A broad-based approach is required if improvements are to be made in teaching mathematics, science and technology. Good results can only be produced through an integration of curricula, text books, laboratory aids, computer courseware, well-educated and appropriately trained teachers, well-equipped and properly maintained laboratories, sufficient classroom hours, and a guidance and support system for teachers.
Recommendations: Each of these factors should be implemented into all fields, and especially in the major new directions that are recommended in this report. This is particularly true with regard to the integrated program of science and technology for the middle and high school levels (for students who are not specializing in science) and for introducing computers for teaching all subjects.
9. Implementing the recommendations of this report will depend upon a high-level decision and the creation of a special project administration in the Ministry of Education and Culture. These recommendations have implications for a number of administrations, sections and departments in the Ministry of Education and Culture, and are relevant with regard to construction, teacher training and in-service training workshops, equipment, curricula development, and the allocation of classroom hours, etc. Given this program's scope and its importance to the State, it should be the responsibility of the most senior organizational level, and all sectors of the education system should be involved.
Recommendations: A project administration should be established, directly accountable to the Director-General of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The administration will guide different sections of the Ministry, coordinate their work, and oversee the program's implementation. The Minister will appoint a board which will advise the administration and monitor the progress of the project. Implementing the project in the field will require a broad network of assistance and support for teachers, provided both by the organizational supervisors at the Ministry of Education and by the staff of the regional centers. The schools will also need an organizational structure, which will include appointing coordinators for both science and technology and coordinators for computers.
10. The cost of operating this program will be approximately NIS 300 million annually (in 1992 prices). The principal budgetary expenditures are for additional instruction hours, constructing laboratories, and purchasing computer and laboratory equipment. Some of the budget is required for one-time purchases (building laboratories, acquiring computers and developing new curricula); the rest will be allocated for ongoing expenses that will gradually increase until they stabilize (this includes additional classroom hours, curricula implementation, and upkeep and replacement of equipment and computers). In the initial years, most of the expenses will be for one-time purchases, and thereafter the bulk of the budget will gradually cover ongoing needs.
Recommendations: We recommend that the necessary funds come from three sources. The Ministry of Education should contribute about NIS 100 million annually to the project. This sum, which is approximately 1.5% of the Ministry's annual budget, will be taken out of its present budget, by changing priorities and reallocating resources. The government should allocate an additional NIS 100 million to the project, in recognition of this subject's importance to the State and its contribution to all facets of life, including defense, industry and the economy. An additional NIS 100 million a year, earmarked principally for helping educational institutions purchase computers, will be covered by the educational institutions and other sources, such as local authorities, donors and parents.
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
State of Israel
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