Sunday, January 13, 2013

Inter-Generational Education

Eitan Bluer

It is often said that the dream of every Jewish mother is for her children to acquire an education. Yet as it turns out, parental expectations regarding higher education vary, depending on the parents’ own level of education. Evidently, the higher the parents’ level of education, the greater their expectation that their own children will acquire a higher education. In 2011 about 68% of Jerusalem’s parents age 20 and above who had up to 12 years of education (no high school diploma) indicated that they expect their children to earn an academic or other tertiary (post-secondary) degree from an accredited institution. This figure was 75% among parents with a high school diploma, and 80% among parents with a tertiary education. Within Israel as a whole the figures were higher. About 77% of parents with fewer than 12 years of education (no high school diploma) indicated that they expect their children to earn an academic or other tertiary degree. The figures were comparable for parents with a high school diploma (84%) and parents with a tertiary education (85%).

And what about fulfilling the expectations? We would expect to see a positive correlation between the mothers’ and children’s levels of education as well as educational mobility. In 2011, approximately 64% of all Jerusalemites age 20 and above indicated that their mother’s education did not exceed 12 years. In contrast, 25% indicated that their mother had a tertiary education. Among children whose mothers have twelve or fewer years of education, 29% reported having a tertiary education. Among children whose mothers have a tertiary education, this figure stood at 51%.

Regarding educational mobility, it appears that the percentage of children whose level of education exceeds that of their parents is lower for Jerusalem than for Israel. In Jerusalem, 58% of children whose mothers have a secondary education indicated that their own level of education exceeds that of their mothers, whereas for Israel this figure stood at 65%. 




Source: 2011 social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics