Tal, Tali, and Einat Peled. “The Philosophies, Contents and Pedagogies of Environmental Education Programs in 10 Israeli Elementary Schools.” Environmental Education Research (early view; online first).
In this study, our aim was to understand how environmental education has been implemented in Israeli elementary schools. We selected ten schools that had implemented Education for Sustainability programs and analyzed their mission statements and curriculum documents. We observed each school’s activities and interviewed teachers. Our analysis shows ambiguity with respect to the rationales and the theoretical foundations of the programs. It also shows much didactic teaching of content, a strong focus on behavioral outcomes, especially with respect to reducing resource consumption and to increasing the levels of recycling, as well as some degree of working with the community. The unclear status of environmental education in Israel, in terms of its structure within the education system, prevents it from having sufficient resources for teacher education and curriculum development. It is suggested that this lack of clarity is the main cause of the ambiguity and for the use of the traditional pedagogies we found in our analysis.
Beginning in 1997, the Har Hamor Yeshiva, a leading Jerusalem-based institute for Torah learning, has become the center of a unique stream of thought in religious Zionist philosophy. This article examines how religious Zionist yeshivas have developed an educational curriculum that translates theological beliefs and values into political action. The article seeks to evaluate to what extent this ideology and curriculum will be able to survive in a political reality in which the rift between religious and secular Zionism is constantly increasing.
The article explores how the Holocaust is represented in history textbooks for Palestinian pupils in the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli curricula from a pedagogical perspective. Since no mention of the Holocaust was found in Palestinian Authority textbooks, the study seeks to explain why this is so, while examining representations of the Holocaust in the Arab (Palestinian) Israeli textbooks. It pursues four principal objectives: (1) to investigate the extent to which Israeli and Palestinian history textbooks discuss the Holocaust, (2) to examine how it is portrayed, (3) to contextualize these portrayals in relation to collective memories of other events (e.g., the Nakba), and (4) to consult with Israeli and Palestinian curriculum policy makers regarding the inclusion or omission of the Holocaust from the curriculum.
ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute For Curriculum Development In Critical Antisemitism Studies to be held at St Antony’s College, Oxford starting July 31, 2016
Application Deadline: March 1, 2016
The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), a New York-based interdisciplinary research center, is seeking scholars-in-residence for an intensive two-week workshop-based curriculum development program aimed at establishing critical antisemitism studies as a recognized academic discipline.
The program is intended primarily for professors with full-time college or university positions, though exceptional doctoral and post-doctoral students may also be considered.
The workshops will take place at St Antony’s College, Oxford, beginning July 31. Under the guidance of leading international academics, scholars-in-residence will be asked to develop new syllabi and curricula for critical interdisciplinary antisemitism courses that the scholars-in-residence will teach in their home institutions after completing the program.
This article analyzes English textbooks used in Israel to examine whether their cultural content is appropriate for the Palestinian Arab learner. This topic is significant, as the English curriculum in Israel is uniform in all sectors. The article presents a critical discourse analysis of six English textbooks used in Israeli high schools to examine the recurrence of seven discursive devices that might possibly serve as a means for shaping or (re)producing ideological values: (1) culturally distinctive names, (2) pronouns, (3) the passive/active voice when relating to the Other, (4) explicit statements defining the target audience, (5) narratives involving faraway cultures that perpetuate Western stereotypes and exclude the Other, (6) a demand for culturally specific prior knowledge, and (7) discourse constructing identities and collective memories. These devices serve to foster English learners imbued with Western oriented Jewish-Zionist ideology, while reproducing and perpetuating hegemonic ideology. Thus, English textbooks in Israel marginalize the Palestinian Arab minority, its culture and common traditions, thereby engendering a learning environment that creates a negative learning experience for students of this sector.
International surveys have served as agents of change for the introduction of reforms in curricula worldwide. The Israeli Ministry of Education set a goal of raising Israel’s ranking in international surveys so that Israel will be among the 10 leading countries in the Program for International Student Assessment and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The Ministry of Education therefore acted to reduce the gap between the intended and the attained science curriculum by intervening on two curricular levels: the intended and the implemented. Over the years, documents that contributed to the adoption of contents and skills from the international surveys were added to the science curriculum, until the publication of the new science curriculum. The intervention was successful and in TIMSS 2011, Israel ranked 13 out of the 42 participating countries. The present research examines the influence of international surveys on science education in Israel, over the course of time (1996–2011). Analysis of documents accompanying the curriculum shows a clear message that international surveys are standards that should be used for teaching, and every additional document closes the gap between the science curriculum and the international surveys.
In this article we explore how we as teacher educators translate a new vision of Israel education into curricular practice in the preparation of emerging Jewish educators. Using a practitioner inquiry mode of research, we reflect on our existential vision of Israel education and its translation into practice as creators and directors of a semester in Israel program. Analyzing a variety of data sources—including internal and external documents, course syllabi, the program’s experiential components, and strategic institutional partnerships, as well as students’ course papers, emails, exit interviews, and oral conversations—we find that an immersive cultural curriculum yields important outcomes for students who engage with our vision of Israel education.
The educational curriculum produced by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) is said to be situated on the intellectual basis of faith in Allah. The curriculum presents Islam as one of three essential components of the Palestinian identity. The place given to Islam in the educational philosophy and curriculum of the PA signifies a departure from the place given to Islam in the PLO’s earlier documents and Fatah’s earlier discourse; in fact, owing to the elevated position of Islam, the discourse in the curriculum more closely resembles that of the PLO’s Islamist opposition, namely Hamas. This article compares the Palestinian identity discourse as it is presented in the PA educational philosophy (1998) and school curriculum (2000-2006) with the identity discourse in the PLO’s earlier philosophy of education as well as Hamas’ philosophy of education. The explanation for this change in the discourse of the Palestinian nationalist movement takes into account Fatah’s bid to maintain legitimacy in a deeply divided society and Hamas’ challenge to Fatah in the Palestinian arena as well as the background of the Islamic revival across the greater Muslim world.