Education and social change: The case of Israel's state curriculum

Amos Hofman, Bracha Alpert, Izhak Schnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explore, through the case of the official Israeli state curriculum, how the educational system is affected by social changes and how it responds to them, and to suggest curricular directions that go along with the new social reality that has emerged in Israel during the past decade. We offer a conceptual-theoretical analysis based on the examination of 10 subject areas taught at Israeli schools by leading experts who investigated the curriculum documents of the Ministry of Education in their disciplines. We identify three stages of curriculum development in Israel since its establishment: promotion of hegemonic national goals, emphasis on academic structure of knowledge, and in recent decades, multiple conflicting goals. Changes in the Israeli state curricula indeed reflect a response to broader social changes, yet these changes are partial, irresolute, and scattered. There is a need for a transcultural approach, promoting a core curriculum common to all groups in Israel, beyond which each group may express its uniqueness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-328
Number of pages26
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

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