Arar, Khalid, Kadir Beycioglu, and Izhar Oplatka. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Educational Leadership for Social Justice in Israel and Turkey: Meanings, Actions and Contexts.” Compare (early view; online first).
The research compares principals in Israel (Jewish and Arab) and Turkey and how they perceive and practice their role in promoting social justice (SJ) in their schools in order to bridge socioeconomic and pedagogic gaps. It poses three questions: (1) How do Turkish and Israeli SJ leaders make sense of SJ? (2) What do SJ leaders do in both countries similarly and differently? (3) What factors facilitate or hinder the work of SJ in both countries? The qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews to collect the narratives of 11 school principals in Turkey and Israel. A comparative, holistic analysis was employed to identify the principals’ perceptions and daily practice of SJ in their schools. The principals reported different sociocultural, national and personal trajectories that shaped their perceptions of SJ, and described strategies used to promote SJ in their daily scholastic policies, processes and practices that meet the school stakeholders’ backgrounds and needs.
The research aimed to understand the way in which high school principals’ perceptions of social justice (SJ) are implemented in their daily educational work. A qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews to collect the narratives of two high school principals in Israel – one Arab-Muslim and one Jewish. The interview transcripts underwent comparative holistic analysis to identify their perceptions and daily practice of SJ in their schools. Findings indicated that the principals’ perceptions of SJ were coloured by their national and cultural context, yet they needed strong conviction to integrate these perceptions in their schools, and their efforts to do so were often beset by resistance.
Klein, Joseph, and Lizi Shimoni-Hershkoviz. “The Contribution of Privatization and Competition in the Education System to the Development of an Informal Management Culture in Schools. A Case Study in Israel.” International Journal of Educational Management 30.4 (2016).
Regulation and privatization of education systems has led to a “league standing” mentality regarding school achievements. The present study examines how school principals deal with the pressures of competition and achievements while aspiring to imbue pupils with values and a broad education. 12 high school principals were interviewed about external demands imposed on them, their educational policy and modes of operation. Publicly, school supervisors advocate a balance between core studies and education for values and enrichment. Informally they pressure principals to allocate maximal resources to preparing for high risk tests at the expense of other educational activities. School administrators and teachers, while dissatisfied with this approach, maintain a covert informal culture that concentrates mainly on external test achievements, which contrasts to their public value-rich educational vision, and undertake actions that raise educational, management and ethical questions. Placing the schools’ informal culture on the research agenda will increase institutional transparency and may contribute to a greater correspondence between school visions advocating knowledge and values, and the policy actually implemented. Raising this subject for discussion may contribute to a demand for more transparency in how schools allocate their resources. It may also help to increase the correspondence between the values and vision promulgated by schools and the educational policy they actually implement.
This paper describes an attempt to identify factors influencing teachers’ motivation in the Arab education system. In-depth interviews with 10 school principals, 15 teachers and 3 counsellors, yielded three themes influencing Arab teachers’ motivation: (1) Arab culture, (2) the school climate and (3) government policies. Arab teachers try to meet both government requirements and the minority Arab society’s expectations that they will shape students’ academic achievements, national identity and culture. Deficient resources and Arab principals’ detached management styles augment the difficulty, negatively influencing teachers’ motivation. Suggestions are given to improve government policies and Arab principals’ work and thus to enhance teachers’ motivation.
Arar, Khalid, and Tamar Shapira. “Hijab and Principalship: The Interplay between Belief Systems, Educational Management and Gender among Arab Muslim Women in Israel.” Gender and Education (early view; online first).
This paper discusses the decision of Muslim female principals in Israel to don the hijab following their appointment to school principalship. This research employed narrative life-story interviews to understand the women’s decision to alter their appearance and how this transition is connected to their role as female school principals in the indigenous Muslim community in Israel and the reaction they faced both in personal and professional spheres. The principals’ narratives elucidate that transition to wearing the hijab was a matter of choice and collective belonging; it empowers them and affected their leadership style, although it also provokes others’ resistance and reactions. Findings clarify the social and personal identity of Arab Muslim women school principals in Israel, and point to the need for consideration of traditional cultural contexts, to enrich managerial theory. This understanding also supports the argument that governmental and organizational policies and initiatives should recognize the diversity in Muslim women’s backgrounds and the dangers of privileging mainstream women’s perspectives.
Bekerman, Zvi. The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education. Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education presents the results of a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel that offer a new educational option to two groups of Israelis–Palestinians and Jews–who have been in conflict for the last one hundred years. Their goal is to create egalitarian bilingual multicultural environments to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect “others” while maintaining loyalty to their respective cultural traditions. In this book, Bekerman reveals the complex school practices implemented while negotiating identity and culture in contexts of enduring conflict. Data gathered from interviews with teachers, students, parents, and state officials are presented and analyzed to explore the potential and limitations of peace education given the cultural resources, ethnic-religious affiliations, political beliefs, and historical narratives of the various interactants. The book concludes with critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. Change, it is argued, will only occur after these perspectives are abandoned, which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.
Table of contents
1. Positioning the Author
2. Theoretical Perspectives
3. Methodology: From Theory to Implementation
4. Schools in Their Contexts
5. The Parents
6. Teachers at Their Work
7. The Children
8. School Routines: Culture, Religion, and Politics in the Classroom
9. Ceremonial Events
10. Conflicting National Narratives
11. The Graduates
ZVI BEKERMAN teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic, and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is particularly interested in how concepts such as culture and identity intersect with issues of social justice, intercultural and peace education, and citizenship education.
Oplatka, Izhar. “Israel: Research on School Principals in Israel, Varied Topics and Limited Scope.” In A Decade of Research on School Principals. Cases from 24 Countries (ed. Helene Arlestig, Christopher Day, and Olof Johansson; Cham: Springer, 2016): 403-20.
This paper reviews the research on principalship in the Israeli educational system conducted by Israeli researchers since 2000 till 2013 (53 works) and sheds light on varied aspects of this managerial career. The major conclusion arising from this review refers to the varied, inchoate, diverse, and fragmented nature of the research on principalship in Israel, stemming, at least in part, from the very small number of researchers in the field of educational administration in this country. Thus, the research into principalship in Israel involves activities in a loosely connected array of sites of inquiry rather than a single or even coherent field of study along the lines of problem foci and clear scholarly directions that continue to exist for a long time. In fact, the research covers a multitude of ideas and area (e.g., the principal’s career and leadership style, the impact of reforms upon principal’s role, the skills of principals, the gender and management) representing considerable different views among various groups of researchers within the profession. In other words, this research lacks a unified, cumulative knowledge base, leaving us with only partial understanding of principalship in Israel. The practical contribution of this research is, therefore, limited. Methodologically, the ratio of quantitative and qualitative methodologies used by the Israeli researchers is almost equal, with very few works using triangulated research design. Finally, new Arab researchers in Israel have begun to explore the particular lives and career of Arab male and female principals in the Arab educational system in Israel and exposed interesting viewpoints about educational leadership in traditional societies.