Evaluating the Effectiveness of Instilling 21st Century Skills in Graduates of Public Versus Private High Schools in Israel


Source: International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), Volume 8, Issue 2 p. 3082-3090

This research examines the effectiveness of instilling 21st century skills in graduates of public versus private schools in Israel. The five skills that were examined are information literacy, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, self-regulated learning and the use of information and technology (ICT). No significant average difference was found between graduates of public and private schools regarding their command of the five skills. Nevertheless, several factors have been found that are related to students’ individual backgrounds:

Among women, graduates of private schools were found to have a large advantage over female graduates of public schools regarding their command of information literacy skills and use of ICT. It was also found that among men, men who attended private schools had an advantage over those enrolled in public schools in terms of control of critical thinking skills. Further, among students who achieved a score of up to 650 on the Psychometric Test, those that attended a private high school had an advantage in their use of ICT. Among students whose fathers’ highest level of education was high school, an advantage was found for students in private school in their control of information literacy as opposed to students whose fathers had an academic degree. For the latter, an advantage in the same skill was seen for public school graduates. Educators must recognize these 21st century skills and the variables that affect the command of them, in order to plan effective quality policies for education, which will take into consideration the gaps between different student populations.

The findings of the present study raise a number of issues that should be considered. It would appear that public high schools as well as private high schools do not make any special investment in strong students, which are in any event perceived as the ones that will succeed regardless of their environment. Another issue relates to the gaps found between men and women in command of the skills we examined.

The results presented herein are significant primarily for high school principals and educators.

The findings can be implemented in the planning of effective policies, which should pay attention to the gaps between different student populations are differentiated from each other by factors such as gender, previous educational achievements, socio-economic status and the like.

High school principals must recognize the skills of the 21st century, as well as factors such as gender and parental education that impact upon them, and the variables that may be affected by them. In order to create a more equitable educational system, which relates to unique characteristics of varying populations that influence the success of students later on in their academic lives, the issues discussed here must be considered. 

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018