Non-Stop Mathematics

Ort high-schools contacts : Dr. Eli Eisenberg, senior VP and Head or R&D and Training Administration; Lea Dolev - Head of Mathematics Teaching.

Mathematics curricula in most countries, including Israel, do not reflect the ongoing work and the new results being accumulated in mathematics. Many graduates of the education system develop a misconception that mathematics is a closed and stagnant area, where all the answers are known and very little, if anything, is left to stimulate their curiosity and desire to invest in creating new results. In an attempt to deal with the problem, the project team developed a set of Mathematics News Snapshots (abb. MNSs) in the format of short PowerPoint presentations each focusing on a single breakthrough in the field of mathematics, taking into account the limited background of high school level students.

The ultimate goal is to decrease the gap between the ever-growing nature of mathematics and the stagnated nature of school curriculum. The underlying assumption is that by perceiving mathematics as a creative human endeavor, more students will opt to consider a choice of their future career in mathematically-based occupation.

As of the last quarter of 2011 Neaman Institute joined the Israel Science Foundation in partial support of a feasibility study named: Mathematics Without a Break.

Its goal is to expose students of secondary schools in Israel to contemporary mathematics, as a live, vibrant, and creative field, without affecting the pace of progress in teaching the mandatory curriculum and without harming students’ achievements in the matriculation exams, thus increasing their motivation to study mathematics and consequently the likelihood of their willing to select a math-related profession for their future career. 

In every school year since then an experimental intervention was conducted in two schools of the ORT network every year. The entire team of math teachers in each school was trained on a weekly basis to interweave MNSs on a regular basis in at least one of their classes.  336 students of 16 teachers participated in the study during Sept 2011-June 2012; 338 students of 21 teachers participated during Sept 2012-June 2013. Each student was exposed to 6 MNSs. Students' response and teachers' attitudes encourage the countrywide expansion of the study while investing a continuing effort in the development of new MNSs and updating existing ones.

Here is a link to a sample MNS


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