Learning mathematics in the Israeli junior high
school has become a serious problem in the education
system in the last 20 years. In Israel the learning
of high level mathematics is a condition for being
accepted to any high prestige university department.
Thus it is crucial to learn what are the educational,
psychological and motivational components involved in
the learning of mathematics. I have examined these
components in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 of a secular,
mixed Jewish school; religious school with single-sex
classes; secular mixed Arab school, and Arab girls'
school, among 800+ students.
The most important results of my study have been that
there is no gender gap in school performance of math
in the Israeli junior high school; motivational
components have had no influence on the actual math
grades in any of the sub-groups; and Arab girls in
single-sex classes scored the highest in internal
motivation and in believability of own math abilities
and the lowest in stability of math abilities. In
addition, within one year the students in the
less-prestige religious Jewish school scored as high
as those learning in the other Jewish school,
considered one of the best in Israel.