The Shrinking Pipeline in Israeli High Schools

The Shrinking Pipeline in Israeli High Schools

Larisa Eidelman (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel) and Orit Hazzan (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch172
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Abstract

Worldwide surveys indicate that the number of women studying undergraduate-level computer science (CS) has been constantly decreasing in the last 20 years (Camp, 1997, 2002; Camp, Miller, & Davies, 1999; National Center for Education Statistics, 2004). According to Galpin (2002), the low participation of women in the computing studies is recognized worldwide. As it turns out, the situation is similar among high-school students as well (Davies, Klawe, Nyhus, Sullivan, & Ng, 2000). However, while many studies are carried out at the university level and programs are implemented in order to change the situation, high-school students do not attract such attention. In Israel too, as far as we know, no research has ever been performed that focused on female high-school students studying CS. This article presents such a study. Specifically, it focuses on high-school female students studying advanced-level CS. Based on data collected in Israel, significant differences were found in the percentages of female high-school students studying advanced-level CS among different sectors. More specifically, while the percentage of female high-school students studying advanced-level CS is about 50% for the Arab minority sector, the percentage of female students studying CS at the same level among the Jewish majority sector is only about 25%. Different studies around the world identified various factors that discourage women from studying CS and from persisting in the field. By focusing on the Israeli high-school female students studying CS at the highest level and coming from two sectors, we suggest that the research presented in this article may partially explain the above-mentioned phenomenon. Further findings are presented in Eidelman and Hazzan (2005).

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