The socio-demographic reality in Israel today is that of a society composed, in crude division, of four main groups of similar size: ultra-orthodox Jews, national-religious Jews, secular Jews and Arabs. In the past decade there have been trends of division accompanied by radicalization and stereotyping that threaten Israel’s functioning as a solid and inclusive society. Education for partnership among segments of Israeli society is essential in dealing with these trends, and is particularly important given the historical division into four separate streams of education, with few bridges connecting them.
The education system recognizes the need for education for partnership and operates in this field in various ways. However, typically, these efforts are unsystematic, and there is ambiguity regarding the efficacy of actions taken. The new institutional standard for Israeli Hope in Education is a systemic effort aimed at professionalizing, expanding, and making partnership in education in the Israeli formal education system more effective. This is done by defining precise goals, using research-based content and tools, and creating clear indicators of success. This enterprise is a partnership between President Rivlin's Israeli Hope initiative, the Ministry of Education, the Lautman Foundation and aChord Center, which leads the professional development of the process.
The Center spearheaded the development of Israeli Hope Standard and is piloting it this year in ten schools from all streams of the Israeli education system. The project offers the schools a variety of professional tools based on knowledge from the field of social psychology, including a conceptual tool of the "ideal graduate", an observation tool, training for educators, and a pool of interventions. Each pilot school receives supplemental and developmental support that enables it to build a specific and effective work plan on education for partnership, based on precise educational goals adapted to the school’s needs.
Selected quotations from principals and educators who participated in the training:
"In my opinion, the knowledge we received is a must ..."
"It made us pause for a moment and think – are the multiple encounters the right thing, do we really get the results we want to achieve through what we are doing right now?"
"In my ten years as a teacher, I’ve undergone a lot of advanced training. This is the highest quality training I have ever participated in”