The education system in Israel operates within a complex social context marked by tension between different groups based on nationality, religion, culture, etc. Recognizing the important role of the education system in promoting values of equality, diversity and co-existence, the Teacher Training Guidelines Committee published a report in February 2021. This report stated that living together in a multicultural society, democracy, and anti-racism should be core themes in teacher training. In response to the report, the Teacher Training Guideline Outline was developed to specify principles for teacher training programs in Israel. The Ministry of Education’s Academic Training Division and the Council for Higher Education asked the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute to review the international literature on “Education for Shared Living and Anti-racist Education”. The review was prepared in collaboration with the Henrietta Szold Institute.
This object of the review is to examine the policies and practices in education for shared living and anti-racist education” teacher training programs around the world to answer the following questions: (1) What are the policies in this field? (2) What actions are taken in the field of teacher training institutions? (3) What are the best practices for teacher training for shared living and anti-racist education?
An international review was conducted between July 2022 and January 2023, based on academic papers, government publications, and teacher training institution websites. The review includes descriptions of programs and initiatives found to be effective as well as an examination of best practices in the field. The review concludes with recommendations.
Most initiatives for promoting multicultural and anti-racist teacher education stem from independent initiatives within teacher training institutions rather than government policies. Teacher training institutions around the world, including Israel, promote these themes through various means: establishing research institutes, developing specialized courses, integrating relevant content into curricula, and encouraging shared learning in heterogeneous student groups.
Some institutions focus on deepening familiarity with diverse communities through special workshops, off-campus intercultural exposure, and through practical teacher training experiences. Effective programs tend to blend formal and informal aspects of education.
The composition of faculty and students, as well as the faculty members’ attitudes toward multicultural and anti-racist education significantly impact the successful implementation of policies in this area.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In various countries, including Israel, teacher training institutions provide a unique space for interaction between diverse population groups. Based on the review, the following recommendations were suggested:
It is recommended to adopt explicit national policies encourage teacher training institutions to provide training for multicultural and anti-racist education, to specify regulations for responding to racist or offensive incidents on campus, to encourage contact between students from diverse backgrounds in formal and non-formal aspects of student life, include active learning tasks involving diverse communities, establish opportunities for community engagement, support faculty training as a preliminary step in implementing interventions, aim for representative diversity in faculty and student groups, and support the implementation of experimental pilot programs.
On a personal and interpersonal level, it is recommended to provide students with basic knowledge about the history and culture of diverse population groups and understanding of societal and racial disparities, to provide opportunities for inter-personal familiarity among students from different groups through projects, shared tasks and experiences, and develop personal and professional identity through dialogue and reflection.