I am a political teacher – a study group for teachers

In the past few weeks a group of teachers who are active in Solidarity has initiated a study group for teachers. Here is their call for prospect participants:

We, a group of Jerusalem based teachers who are active in the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement would like to invite teachers and education students and trainees to join us to the new study group – I am a political teacher. The group will discuss political aspects of teaching in Israel, 2011. 

Our basic assumption is that political and social discourses are present, explicitly or inexplicitly, in our daily school lives. Therefore, we wish to address the politics of teaching, to examine how we, as educators shape our decisions and practices in light of the current political reality. 

The group will meet every fortnight ,on Tuesdays, for a period of four months. Our goal is to discuss the politics of schooling and teaching and their implications for our work as educators and teachers. We will be looking into areas such as: school curricula, fieldtrips ,social activities and more. In addition we will be taking a deeper look, from an educational perspective, into political and social changes in contemporary Israel and the Occupied Territories. We will look closely at those changes and the social-political characteristics of Israel and wonder what impact they have on our schools and our teaching. Once a month, on Fridays we will go on a fieldtrip to areas within and outside the green line. Through these fieldtrips we will get acquainted with the political reality in Israel and the Occupied Territories while learning about it from an educational perspective. These fieldtrips will be open to anyone who will be interested in joining. 

This group is meant for people who are interested in taking part on a regular basis and take on an active role in the group’s learning process. As members of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement we do not consider ourselves objective and we openly aspire to a different reality in our country. We believe in reconciliation, and in shaping a future where both peoples have equal part. Baring this in mind, the aim of the group is not to launch a recruiting campaign for the movement but rather to hold a serious discussion based on a joint learning process of the members of the group while encouraging a dialogue between different perspectives and world-views. 

Meetings Schedule:

  1. Opening session, “teaching as a political act”. A standpoint.
  2. People build an army build a people? On educating for mandatory army service and critical pedagogy in schools.
  3. “Learning through your feet”- on what we see while on schools’ field trips.
  4. “Buy yourself a teacher”- on outsourcing in education.
  5. “Time travel”- on history teaching and narratives in the school history curriculum.
  6. Being a citizen in Israel- civic education curriculum in Israeli schools
  7. The Jewish Palestinian conflict- milestones.
  8. East Jerusalem today- guest lecture
  9. Racism 2000- on dealing with racism in the classroom.
  10. Final session- from theory to practice. 

For more details and joining in: politicalteacher@gmail.com

Demo in Sheikh Jarrah, April 29, 2011. Photo by: Lior Ben Eliahu