Chaired by Prof. (Emeritus) Hanoch Gutfreund of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the expert committee was created following the Ministry of Education's request to study the topic of "The Knowledge-base for Teaching Mathematics"
The committee commenced its work in April 2010, and published its final report
in April 2012.
Mathematics education, which is a basic practical tool as well as a cultural endeavor in its own right, is considered a fundamental component to the quality of education that a country provides its citizens. Studies conducted during the past decade indicate that more than other education-related factors – such as the school or the curriculum – the teacher is the major factor affecting students' achievements.
The Ministry of Education administration is seeking to promote mathematics education and for that reason had approached the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities with a request that the Initiative for Applied Education Research establish an expert committee to examine the knowledge secondary school mathematics teachers require. Yad Hanadiv (Rothschild Foundation) was co-funding the activities the Initiative undertook for the Ministry.
The committee became conversant with the scientific research studies on this topic from Israel and around the world, learned from the experience of professionals in the field, analyzed the various components of knowledge and the extent to which they are necessary, summed up its conclusions and recommended policy with the goal of improving student achievements.
Chaired by Prof. Gutfreund, the expert committee, which included researchers from different fields as well as teachers of mathematics, carried out its work on a voluntary basis. Its first meeting was convened in the spring of 2010. During the course of its work, the committee commissioned scientific reviews, as well as status reviews, held a symposium open to the public and drafted its final report collectively approved by all its members. After undergoing peer review, the final report
was submitted to the Ministry of Education directorate and became accessible to the public via the Initiative's website in April 2012.