Israeli society, like many contemporary societies, consists of various cultures and sub-cultures. This diversity finds expression in Israel's education system, albeit through segregation, since the system is divided into culturally-based educational sectors, most prominently among Jews and Arabs. This segregation strengthens mutual cultural alienation rather than intercultural dialogue. Against this tendency, a few bilingual-bicultural Arab-Jewish schools have been established in Israel, one of which is situated in Beer-Sheva, a city in the southern region of Israel, whose demographic consists predominantly of Bedouins-Arabs and Jews. The bilingual school in Beer-Sheva was built on multicultural and intercultural principles. The school’s underlying pedagogical assumption is that there should be a connection between the school's educational agenda and the forms of teaching that it deploys. Thus, in order to advance social transformation in the spirit of multiculturalism and interculturalism, a pedagogical approach that fosters students' activism, initiative, critical thinking and collaborative abilities needs to be adopted. Such an approach can be found in PBL (project-based learning), a proactive, student-centered, group-oriented and practice-oriented teaching method. Therefore, in this lecture we explore a case study of a one-year PBL initiative that took place in Beer-Sheva’s bilingual Arab-Jewish school. Through a rich and thick description, we expose the different layers of the case and provide a holistic picture of it, arguing that the study’s findings affirm the positive connection between PBL and a multicultural agenda. Based on these findings, we offer some guidelines for the implementation of PBL in the context of multicultural and intercultural education.
Raz Shpeizer, Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel
Orit Freiberg, Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture
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