IPCRI's Education For Peace Project

The Largest and Most Effective Peace Education Project in the Region


See Also:
Palestinian Youth Encounter Workshops: A Basic Summary of Research Findings





Education for Peace Project

School Year 2000 - 2001




Introduction
Project Description
General Objectives
Student Workshops
Selection of Schools
The Peace Education Curricula
Evaluation
Participating Schools
Virtual Meeting Ground






Introduction

 

Education for peace is the best vehicle to ensure that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians will have the skills, the knowledge and the motivation to create a truly peaceful Middle East.  Now is the time to look towards the next generation and to empower them with the ability to live in peace with their neighbors. Until now we have taught our children and ourselves what is necessary to survive in times of conflict.  Our children must be provided with the skills and knowledge to live in peace and to create mutual respect and understanding that will enable them to transform their lives and this region into one of cooperation, prosperity and freedom.

The best way to build peace for the future at the "People-to-People" level is through educational change. IPCRI's peace education program, now entering its fifth year is rapidly entering the educational system of both sides.  IPCRI's Peace Education program is the largest and most comprehensive undertaking of its kind in Israel and Palestine.  IPCRI's Peace Education Project has taken a strategic approach to peace education and involves multi-disciplanry curricula (cognative elements), skills training in conflict resolution (providing new skills and practical training) and encounters between Israeli and Palestinian participants (experiential and emotive elements).

During the 1999-2000 school year, the Peace Eduation Program was conducted in 32 schools in both Israel and Palestine. In both regions we have included schools in the periphery and are no longer operating only in the center of the country. In Palestine, government schools in the Jenin and Tulkarm region have been added to the private schools that participated in the past two years. During the school year of 2000-2001 we will further expand the project and reach nearly 100 classrooms of Israeli and Palestinian 10th graders. Demand from the field has brought us into a process of developing a continuation 11th grade program for those students who participated in previous years.  Working with two institutions, the Neaman Center for Negotiations and Mediation from the Technion and the Consensus Building Institute of MIT in Cambridge, Ma, IPCRI will be introducing skill building for Israeli and Palestinian students and teachers in mediation and negotiation of disputes.  These tools will add communication techniques and skills in frameworks that will supplement the peace education aspects of the program learned in the tenth grade.  Like the tenth grade program, the 11th grade follow-up program will include joint encounters between the participants, however, the second encounters will be held after the participants have been trained in mediation and negotiation techniques and theory.

For the past 4 years, IPCRI has worked diligently in creating new curricula in peace education which is becoming part of the existing curricula in schools for tenth grade students where the program is being implemented throughout Israel and Palestine.  New lessons in civics, history,  sociology and literature have been created with an emphasis on peace education. Teaching skills in conflict resolution, mediation and negotiations are being taught to the students. The high point of the program includes two-day long encounters between the Palestinian and Israeli students. Our Israeli and Palestinian teams of curriculum writers will be adding additional lessons for the history units with a greater emphasis on studying the roots of the conflict and the peace process. All of the 48 hours of classroom study is conducted informaly in workshop style and not "chalk and talk" frontal education.  In order to enable the informal process, the classes are broken into two groups for all of the lessons.

A main focus of the program places the strongest emphasis on the teachers. The participating teachers take part in more than 150 hours of in-service teacher training in peace education and intensive encounters with their colleagues from the other side.

            Throughout the process, IPCRI has trained more than 300 teachers and tens of facilitators who have all become professional agents of change.  Uri Savir, one of the Israeli negotiators in Oslo, in his book "The Process" states that one of the main oversights of the peacemakers until now was to give too little attention to peacemaking amongst the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.  IPCRI's Education for Peace Project is our premier People-to-People project and one of the most effective and successful projects of its kind.



PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Education for Peace between Israeli and Palestinian High School Teachers and Students


Brief outline of the project

The project was originally initiated to penetrate the school systems of the two societies directly implicated in the Israeli-Arab conflict (Israeli and Palestinian), and to turn the classroom into a vehicle for rapprochement. It is an innovative and unprecedented endeavour in which peace education curricula were designed, while at the same time training and developing a cadre of agents of change, namely the professionals involved in the project - principals, teachers, curricula developers, facilitators and representatives from the Ministries of Education. The direct encounters between the participants enhanced the people-to-people aspect of the project.

The project's fundamental idea was based on the decision that Israelis and Palestinians together develop model lessons for 10th grade students (15-16 year olds). The tenth grade was selected because of the belief that these students have the cognitive abilities to confront the subject materials and are not yet under the pressure of matriculation exams.  The curricula, designed by professionals from the communities involved, was first tested on a small sample of classes (the "ambassadors"), and after a process of trial and correction, implemented during the 1997/8 academic year in 24 Israeli and Palestinian pilot classes and in an additional 24 schools during the 1998/99 academic year. In the school year of 1999/2000 32 classes participated in the program.

One of the long term goals of the project is to create an educational package made of the curricula, teacher training and encounters both at the level of teachers and students that will be adopted and widely used by the Ministries of Education of the two nations, implemented through trained agents of change. Curricula teams agreed on value statements based on the recognition and acceptance of the other, universal values, and critical thinking.

The uniqueness of Peace Education curricula is that it is based on existing subjects taught in the classes.  The curricula teams took the materials in sociology/social sciences, literature, history and English and infused this material with new concepts and activities and added a new text.  This text, while expanding knowledge of the subject, is particularly valuable in highlighting concepts of peace education.  Teachers use this text in conjunction with their traditional subjects to discuss peace education daily.  The Peace Education curricula present an integrative, holistic approach.  The packages have been developed by Palestinian Noor Center for Education and Israeli Adam Institute.

Following the tremendous success of the pilot stage of the project and many requests from the schools participating in it, as well as from schools that have heard about the project, IPCRI's staff is convinced of the necessity to continue its work with the schools currently participating in the project.  Furthermore, we believe that in order for the Peace Education package to be accepted and adopted by the Ministries of Education, we must reach a critical number of participating schools in each country, so that the demand for the program will come from the ground up to the Ministries themselves.

The Israeli Ministry of Education has expressed its support for the project. The Palestinian Ministry of Education expressed its satisfaction with the progress made in the implementation of the project and has recommended that it be submitted for review to the Department of Curricula Development, to consider implementation of the project in additional schools.  In order for this project to be fully adopted by each of the Ministries of Education it is necessary to involve a much larger number of schools and teachers and at a later time to involve the parents on a bi-nation wide lobbying effort aimed at enhancing public and educational pressure upon the decision makers.

In the 1999/2000 school year, the Peace Education Program penetrated Palestinian governmental schools for the first time.  In 2000/2001 additional Palestinian governmental schools will be added to the project as well as two schools in Gaza for the first time.  IPCRI has also made great successful efforts to reach schools in the periphery both in Israel and in Palestine.  The demand for the program from the field is much greater than the financial ability of IPCRI to meet.  For example, the education department of the Municipality of Tel Aviv requested to have the program implemented in all of the high schools under its authority.  IPCRI selected a group of schools in Tel Aviv that contain a wide variety of student populations and represent the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv as well as the higher advantageous populations of North Tel Aviv.  Emphasis has been placed on schools in development towns and poorer communities.  In order to answer the needs, IPCRI will be receiving the financial support of the Israeli Ministry of Education that will direct funds for the schools through IPCRI to cover the extra hours required for the implementation of the program.


General and specific objectives

General Objectives:

IPCRI's peace education department espouses the philosophy that while peace can be signed by statesmen, it must be built between people where parties involved in the ignorance and mutual denial of legitimacy characterize the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The IPCRI Peace Education Program is working at the grass roots level on changing perceptions and stereotypes about "the enemy". Education for Peace teaches skills to defuse, manage, and solve conflicts, as well as universal values of peace, human rights and democracy.

A peace process occurs between nations, transferring them from a state of war between enemies to a state of peace between partners. A successful peace process requires a shift of attitudes in a cross section of the society and must be built between the peoples. This lengthy process of education should take place through the educational system (formal and informal). Consolidation of the fragile peace talks demands a dialogue on changing perceptions and stereotypes about the ‘other'. It also means learning the skills to defuse, manage, and solve conflicts. Education is a powerful agent of change and socialization into society's major values; unfortunately, it sometimes also acts as a transmitter of conflict-producing, or sustaining, myths. Hence the need for a project that teaches conflict-solving values and skills and brings together Israeli and Palestinian teachers, on equal footing, to encourage discussion, to empower both sides, and to emphasize the role of the educators as agents of change.

Specific Objectives:

The project which IPCRI is currently proposing, has four main specific objectives:

A. Training agents of change

Training Palestinian and Israeli teachers to use the Education for Peace packages

Educators who have committed themselves to teaching peace education are obligated to strive towards accepting a working definition for peace education, one that will enable students to develop a broader knowledge of attitudes, values and skills essential to living in a democratic society on the classroom, school, community and national levels. Teachers who participate in this project are trained to implement the Education for Peace packages. The training focuses on their subject area and acquiring new teaching methods.  The training is student-centred and based on participative techniques.  They also take part in two workshops confronting them with the diversity of personal, cultural and political views and narratives, while at the same time learning skills of critical thinking, active listening and conflict resolution.

B. Advanced Teachers' training

Follow-up workgroups for teachers

Two workshops for Palestinian and Israeli new and veteran teachers.

Training workshops towards co-facilitation

During the implementation, the teachers continue to participate in follow-up working sessions with the Adam Institute and the Noor Centre.  The aim is to support them and guide them through possible difficult periods and assist them in enriching their teaching materials.

Many of the skilled facilitators we have been working with in the past year and a half did not have previous experience in co-facilitation with the "other" in mixed groups of teachers and/or students. We hold a number of workshops and sessions with the goal of providing the facilitators with a framework in which they could exchange ideas and methods of work, while also conducting joint activities.

IPCRI will also conduct this year a program for intensive training of Israeli and Palestinian co-facilitators who will then be hired by the program to conduct the encounters between the Israeli and Palestinian students.


Student Workshops

 

"We were very afraid to come to the meeting. When we arrived, we sat on one side and they sat on the other. But slowly, we got to know them and had great fun in the social activities in the evening. Now I know much better about the Palestinian life and conditions."
An Israeli student

Structure of the Workshop

The aim of the student encounter is to provide an opportunity for Palestinian and Israelis to meet the "other" and to challenge their assumptions. By the end of the encounter, we hope the participants will have more questions about the situation and to be able to identify both similarities and differences between them. The structure of the workshop is to move from a personal to cultural and finally to a political level of discussion.

Prior to the encounters, the students meet with the project facilitators several times to prepare themselves for the encounter and in order to maximalize the experience.  The encounters are also followed by a series of meetings with the facilitators and the teachers in order to analyze and understand the encounter experience to its fullest potential.  The program of the encounter includes the following:

Personal level activities would include looking at the issue of names, family history, place of birth, influential people etc.

Culture level activities deal with boy/girl relations, music, customs, parent/children relations, folklore, and values related to culture. In addition, the evening activity is centered on preparation and presentation of skits.

Political level activities comprise an exercise designed to illustrate the different narratives of the conflict through making multi-media posters.  This sparks off debate on relevant and specific political issues.

The closing sessions of the workshop are set aside for student discussion where they are encouraged to comment on their experience and perceptions of the project.


Selection of Schools

There are more schools interested in joining the project than we have the financial ability to absorb. IPCRI places high demands on schools that join the project. These include:

A headmaster committed to the project

       ü         A minimum of three teachers who will work on the project

       ü         An agreement to free the teachers for a minimum of 10 school days for training

       ü         Two hours per week of study for each class participating

       ü         Agreement to divide the class in half for all project activities in order to work in small groups

       ü         At least one class from the tenth grade participating

       ü         Agreement to have the class participate in a two day encounter

       ü         All extra costs for class hours are at the expense of the school (we hope to receive the support of the Israeli Ministry of Education for the hours of schools located in the periphery)

Schools are selected from varied social backgrounds

Furthermore, IPCRI has made an effort this year to select schools in the periphery as well as several disadvantaged schools in order to widen the scope and nature of students participating.

Teacher Training

All participating teachers receive about 200 hours of training and follow-up supervision by the project.  The training involves uni-national workshops designed to enable the teachers to teach the curriculum in their classrooms.  In addition there will be two workshops involving five days of training held in the region which focuses on the Diversity of Narratives. This program is designed to enable to teachers to confront their own attitudes and values regarding the conflict and the peace process.  It aims at providing greater legitimacy for the diversity of opinions and the legitimacy that each side claims for itself.  This program is high emotion-packed and has a great impact on the participants.

Relations with the Ministries of Education

In Israel the program and peace education curriculum was developed with the participation of representatives from the Ministry's Department for Curriculum development and the Executive for Values Education.  All teachers participating in the program receive in-service teacher training credits which adds to their salaries.  The Ministry is now examining ways in which the program can become a more formal part of the educational system and IPCRI's peace education staff have been invited to work with the Pedagogical Executive's National Committee on Peace Education.

In the Palestinian Authority, the PA Ministry of Education has agreed that the program be taught in private schools and has allowed us to introduce the progrm to several government schools.  These schools currently represent about 25% of all high school students. Last year several government schools joined the program without official sanction from the Ministry.  In the new school year IPCRI will be working in PA government schools with the official sanction of the Ministry of Education.

The two main authors of the IPCRI peace education curriculum for PA schools are members of the PA National Curriculum writing executive.  The IPCRI curriculum has been submitted to the PA National Curriculum writing executive for review and approval. IPCRI has also entered PA Governmental schools and will expand the number of Governmental schools in 2000/2001.


The Peace Education Curricula

There are two versions of the Peace Education curriculum; one for the Israeli school system and one for the Palestinian school sytem.  These curricula are different in that they are adapted to suit different educational systems and national curricula, but they share underlying values and chracteristics such as equality, freedom, non-violence, tolerance and critical thinking.

The curriculum is taught in an integrated fashion.  This means that it is woven into other subjects, rather than being taught seperatley in Peace Education classees.  In Palestine, the curriculum is taught through Social Sciences and English.  In Israel it is taught through History, Sociology and Literature.

The curriculum is also designed to be be taught wholistically.  Rather than the teacher simply giving information in a frontal teaching style, the curriculum is interactive and focuses on three domains; cognitive, emotional and conflict resolution skills.

The topics covered by the Peace Education curriculum are as follows:

Literature & English:

    

-           Equality and Pluralism

-           What is Freedom?

-           Freedom and the Right of Choice

-                     Social Involvement

-                     Justice

-                     Human Rights

-                     Analysing Social and Political Trends

-                     Interfaith Declaration

-                     Conflict Resolution Skills

 

Sociology & Social Sciences:

-                     Democratic and Non-Democratic Socialisation

-                     Social Divisions and Political Power

-                     Traditional and Modern Families

-                     Stability and Change

-                     Sociological Theories and Change of Values

-                     Dealing with the Concept of Democracy

-                     Environmental Issues

 

History:

-                     How Should we Deal with the Past?

-                     The Right to Self-Determination

-                     Refugees; the Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives

-                     Conflict Resolution Training Skills

IPCRI is continuing to review the curricula and to make improvements.  In both curricula the section dealing with conflict resolution skills is being further developed in cooperation with the Consensus Building Institute of MIT under Prof. Lawrence Susskind.  This year, IPCRI will add a follow-up program for those schools interested for their 11th grade classes on conflict resolution and negotiation skill building.  The Palestinian curriculum is being developed more in the area of confronting the peace process in order to supplement that part of the program.

The program for the encounter has focused on confronting final status issues.  We have been experimenting with this part of the program and further development will take place this year.


Evaluation

In 1998, IPCRI contract Dr. Yifat Maoz, an educational psychologist specializing in communications from the Hebrew University to conduct an impact study of the encounter section of the program.  The executive summary of that study is attached in Annex I of this proposal. In 2000/2001 IPCRI would like to conduct a much more comprehensive external evaluation of the program including the classroom work as well as the encounters and teacher training.

During the school year 2000-2001, IPCRI would like to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the entire program that will examine the curricula, the teacher training, the co-faciliator training, the work of the teacher supervisors, the work of the facilitators in the encounters.  The evaluation project will enploy 2 qaulified experts in educational evalaution.  The evaluators will observe all elements of the project, will introduce questionaires to teachers and students, at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the school year.  The evaluation will be built as a constructive one providing the IPCRI Peace Education staff with ongoing feedback on all aspects of the project.

The proposed comprehensive evaluation of the project will contribute to:

·        Improve the intervention model of Education for Peace by IPCRI in its next phase.

·        Identify the positive changes that took place on attitudinal as well as action levels, such learning enhances the peace building activities and its potential to strengthen the peace process on the level of "people to people."

·        Recognize the limitations and negative consequences that might result from the intervention project.

The need to comprehensively evaluate the IPCRI Education for Peace program stems from the recognition that the project has been implemented for the last five years and only one intermediary and partial evaluation of the students' encounters was conducted in 1999.

Although the partial evaluation pointed out to the strong positive impact that the encounters have produced on the Palestinian and Israeli students, nevertheless there are many other aspects that should be examined. For example, what was the impact of this

project on the staff of teachers from the two different communities (Israeli and Palestinians).  To what extent has this project influenced their personal and professional lives as agents of social change in their school systems? What type of impact did the project have on the students who have completed the program? What actual and concrete implications did the Education for Peace project have on the students and staff?

Identifying and learning the process of development and obstacles that faced this program from its inception until now can provide an important contribution to the field of peace building in post settlement or in divided societies in general.  The Israel-Palestinian experience is fresh and pioneer in this area, there are no other programs in the world that have attempted to engage in such process of devising new curricula to change myths and misperceptions among old enemies. Thus learning and documenting the development of the project can offer significant lesson not only for IPCRI's future projects in this area, but for other countries as well.

Finally, in terms of timing and measuring impact of Education for Peace, it is essential to try and capture the impact of the intervention as close as possible to the actual intervention, three years is a long period in the life of a teenager. Beyond this period of time it will be difficult to have participants to reflect on their past experience with the project.

Methodology and experience of the principle evaluator:

The proposed evaluation method would be based on participatory approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis of the responses of all the actors involved in this project. Thus, the primary ways to collect the data would be through the combination of surveys, in depth interviews, observations, and examination of secondary documents that capture that development of the projects.

In developing the different evaluation forms and strategies, the evaluator and the team will involve the IPCRI staff and directors and respond to their needs and concerns. In addition, after the final report and analysis of the findings, the evaluator will propose to conduct a special training workshop to share and discuss the findings and the implications to IPCRI's approach in the Education for Peace project.

The evaluator's knowledge of Arabic and Hebrew languages allows him to understand the narrative and cultural context all actors involved in the project. Such understanding is crucial when the objective is to evaluate and capture specific psychological changes that participants and staff have experienced throughout the project.

The evaluator's personal and professional experience in Arab-Jewish encounter and dialogue groups (see attached C.V) place him in a strong position to capture the process of change and the impact of the Project from an insider perspective. Such position contributes to the evaluator ability to genuinely reflect the nature and impact of the process of intervention too. Such back ground also contribute to the understanding and consideration of the political, social, and cultural context that usually affect the Education for peace projects. 

Scope of Evaluation:

In the Education for Peace project there has been 100 teachers (40 new and 60 veterans since February 1996).  In 2000-2001 there will be about 300 teachers involved in the program. There are about 60 schools that are involved in the programs. The schools are spread geographically and include both government and private schools.  In terms of curriculum development, the teachers and students participants have developed two curricula (for Israeli and Palestinian students).  In the past the project has focused on the 10th graders, but his year other 11th graders will be added too with new two courses on conflict resolution (developed by Israeli Center for Negotiation and Consensus building Institute from MIT).  The Education for Peace curricula included literature, history, social studies.

The program staff includes a program director, two program's coordinators (Israeli and Palestinian), and about 20 freelance facilitators who assist in preparing the teachers and students.

The evaluation process will focus on three levels to measure the impact and development of the Education for Peace project. The three levels are:

 

(1)   attitudinal changes among participants ;

(2)   behavioral changes that influenced or developed among participants as a result of their participation in the project;

(3)    new skills  that has been learned or gained by the participants.

The proposed evaluation program would certainly include the following components:

 

I.                    Initiation period contact and coordination (February 1996-completion of the first curriculum).

 

The primary focus of the evaluation of this period would be on the:

a.       Nature of the contact between Israeli and Palestinian educators, NGOs representatives, Ministries of education, and academicians.

b.      Type of training provided to the participants and the development of the group.

c.        Impact of the meetings and process of curriculum development on the members of the group.

d.      Satisfaction of the group from the curriculum that was developed

 

 

II.                 Teacher training: the evaluation in this phase will focus on all teachers

who were trained to carry out or implement these curricula for peace in both communities (approximately 300 teachers have been trained by IPCRI staff and received 148 hours of training). The evaluation of these teacher experience can focus on the following aspects:

a.       impact of the training in their attitudes towards their own community and the other community;

b.      impact of the training and experience of  teaching the curriculum on their personal and  professional lives; and

c.       teachers' perceptions of the impact of the curricula on their students and the general relations between the two communities; and

d.      identify the type of skills that were gained by teachers as a result of their training in education for peace project.

 

III.               Students' education: Evaluation in this phase can focus on the experience of the students in studying the curricula separately and their reactions to the joint sessions that they had with members of the other community. Some of specific evaluation items would relate to the following aspects:

 

a.       impact of the curricula on the students perception of the other side;

b.      impact of the meeting with the other in the encounter context on the students' perceptions; and

c.       impact of the Education for Peace experience on the students' actions. (For example, have students become involved in certain activities due to their exposure to such curricula?).

d.      identify specific skills that students have learned as a result of their exposure to the curriculum of Education for Peace

 

IV.              IPCRI staff perceptions: this segment of the evaluation focuses on the perceptions

and attitudes among IPCRI staff who were involved in the project. The evaluation aims at uncovering the development of the project and the necessary changes that will improve its implementations. Thus, there are certain concepts that will be examined:

a.       extent of training invested in the preparation of teacher, curricula , and project in general;

b.      perceptions of success and impact that the project has had on the various participants; and

c.       lessons learned from the experience working in this project.


The Facilitators

During the first year of the project we made an effort to collect the expertise in the field from institutions that have engaged in education for coexistence work inside of Israel (between Jewish and Arab Israelis).  After a short time we realized that the skills and awareness necessary for work between Israelis and Palestinians were different than those that the facilitators possessed. We then came to the conclusion that we needed to train a new cadre of facilitators who could run  the encounters and serve as teacher trainers.  In 2000-2001 we will continue to work with several of the institutions working in the field of coexistence education such as the Adam Institute in Israel and Wiam in the PA. We will also recruit new co-facilitators and run a special training program for them specifically designed by IPCRI for our program.


Timetable of Events (by the school year):

 

September:

        ·          Opening of the school year meeting of all of the teachers

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Teacher Training workshops on Peace Education Package

        ·          Begin implementation of curricula in schools

 

October

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Lessons being taught in schools

        ·          Teacher Training

 

November

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Lessons being taught in schools

 

December

        ·          Veteran teachers' encounter workshop; 5 days

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Lesson being taught in schools

 

January

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          New teachers' encounter workshop; 5 days

 

February

        ·          Student encounters begin

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Newsletter

        ·          Curricula modification

 

March

        ·          New school recruitment begins

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Evaluation of curricula and further modifications

        ·          Student encounters

 

April

        ·          Student encounters

        ·          New school recruitment

        ·          School visits by the staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Curricula evaluation and modification

 

May

        ·          Student encounters

        ·          School visits by the staff

        ·          New and old school recruitment

 

June

        ·          Student encounters

        ·          School visits

        ·          Evaluation with teachers

        ·          Printing and distribution of modified curricula packages

 

July

        ·          Preparations for new teachers' training

        ·          Selection of teachers

        ·          Workshops for facilitators

 

August

        ·          Teachers training

        ·          Distribution of curricula packages

        ·          Teachers' training for 11th grade program

 



Participating Schools and Number of Classrooms for 2000/20001

 

Israeli Schools

 

·        Tel Aviv High School "Daled" 9 tenth grade classes, 1 11th grade class

·        Amal Lady david, Tel Aviv 4 classes

·        Tel Aviv High School "Tet" 1 class

·        Bat Yam Hahasmonians 3 classes

·        Herzeliya Rishonim 3 classes

·        Technical-Engineering High School Bosmat Tivon 1 class

·        Denamrk high School Jerusalem 2 classes

·        Ziv High School Jerusalem 4 tenth grade, 2 11th grade

·        University High School Jerusalem 3 tenth grade, 1 11th grade

·        Experimental High School Jerusalem 2 classes

·        Mossad Hinuhi Tzafon 1 class

·        Shaalon High School Kiryat Gat 3 tenth grade, 1 11th grade

·        Ashdod "vav" 1 class

·        Ashdod "Alef" 1 tenth grade, 1 11th grade

·        HaEmek Hama'aravi 5 classes

·        Carmel-Zvulan 4 classes

·        I'balin 3 classes

·        Taybe 1 class

·        Kafr Qassem 2 classes

·        Kafr Yassif 1 class

·        El Mutran Nazareth 3 classes

 

 

A List of the Newly Recruited Palestinian Schools

·        Zababdeh Gov. Sec. Girls School Zababdeh / Jenin  - 2 classes              

·        Anabta  Gov. Sec. Sch.  Boys School  - Nablus  - 2 classes

·        Irtah Gov. Sec. Sch.  Boys School  - Irtah Village / Tulkarem  - 2 classes

·        Dar El-Kalameh Private Sec. Sch.  Mixed School  / Beit Sahour  - 1 class

·        Franciscan   Sec. Sch.  Boys Private  / Jericho 1 class

·        Franciscan   Sec. Sch.  Girls Private / Jericho 1 class

·        Latin Patriarchs Sec. Sch. Private / Gaza 2 classes

·        Assyra Ashammalyya Sec. Sch./ Gov. / A village near  Nablus 2 classes

·        Shepherd Sec. Sh./ Private / Beit Jala 2 classes Old schools that are going to continue next year :

 

Pending Schools (These have requested to join the project):

 




THE VIRTUAL MEETING GROUND PROJECT A NEW DIMENSION IN THE PROGRAM

Bringing Peace Education to Thousands in Schools and at Home

a) Introduction

Virtual Meeting Ground (Internet) Project, will function as an innovative non-controlled environment within the implementation of the Education for Peace Project. Before confronting the other side directly, with all this entails in terms of emotional risks, the students will prepare for their "live" encounters by Internet encounters.

The Virtual Meeting Ground project will enable students to get in touch with one another in a "neutral" learning environment without touching directly upon the most emotional issues of the conflict. Students will take part in a joint learning experience of creating and maintaining a web site, managing a discussion forum on the Web, and communicating by email.

While this internet component is an integral part of the larger Education for Peace Project, it has the potential  - beyond the limitations of the current project - to grow into an independent long-term endeavor that can significantly contribute to fostering a climate of dialogue and coexistence between youngsters in our conflicted communities.

Elements of the Internet Project

Web Page Design

Each class involved in the project will be assisted by the IPCRI staff in the design of a class web page.  These pages can include the following information (and more)

 

                      · A class profile who are the individual students in the class, their personal histories, family background, etc.

                      · A profile of their school curricula, subjects, main projects, etc.

                      · A profile of their school and community

                      · Issues for discussion about the conflict and the peace process, etc.

The web page will be dynamic and will change as the project progress. Discussion forums can be added to the web page and links to other interesting sources of relevant information will be added.

The interactive websites will be designed during the project and will be used as a forum for dialogue. Students themselves will - under facilitation or consultation - raise subjects for discussion and/or joint problem solving with counterpart classes of the other communities. The subjects will be those most pertinent to their daily lives. It could be that some of the issues raised will deal with our larger regional conflicts, but this is not necessary. The main value for Palestinian and Israeli students is to learn to communicate with each other in a spirit of curiosity, mutual respect and non-violence.  The students will be able to publish letters for everyone to read, and can respond either to the group or to each other through email.  They will get to know each other through this contact and will be able to write to each other personally.

In another area of the website, there will be the local newsletter, written and published by the students.  Students will be encouraged to write articles and a group of interested students will act as editors of the online newsletter.

Listserves

The project staff will create four listserve email discussion lists including:

 

                      ·          For the Israeli and Palestinian students already taking part in the IPCRI Peace Education program

                      ·          For all Israeli and Palestinian students who wish to join the discussion (those who are not involved in the IPCRI Education for Peace project)

                      ·          For Israeli and Palestinian educators those involved and those not involved in the IPCRI Education for Peace project

                      ·          For peace educators all over the world who are interested in peace education.

 

A Chat Room

The project staff will set up an on-line chat room for Israeli and Palestinian high school students to communicate on-line in real time.  The chat room will be unmonitored for free and open discussion.

b) Benefits

The benefits of this project are:

 

1. Technical training and practice: Students and educational personnel will obtain technological training and practice that will help them gain skills on the Internet.  These skills will qualify them for participating in today's global economy and acts as a buffer against parochialism as well as providing additional experience and knowledge in information technology.

 

2. Virtual communication bridges geographical distances: The computer encounters constitute a "safe" means of fighting stereotypes and creating rapprochement. Facilitated contact via the Internet will stimulate a culture of cooperation and interaction. Encounters between participants on all levels (educators, teachers, principals, and students) are built into the project.

 

3. Problem solving skills: Students learn to express their concerns in a creative and mutually acceptable format. They learn to work together for a constructive aim. By dealing with projects aimed at participation, problem solving and research skills, the participants will have a chance of refining their conflict resolution skills. In that sense, the process of setting up, operating, and communicating through Internet provides a powerful tool of empowerment for all its users.

 

4. A resource center for conflict resolution: The web pages has an indefinite life-span, and therefore has the potential of serving as an infrastructure for wider future usage. It will establish a virtual meeting ground for regional (and hopefully global) conflict resolution for use by students, educators, and others. 

 

c) Methodology

The Virtual Meeting Ground uses innovative technologies in the service of peace building. As many classes as technically possible will be connected through Internet. Most of the Israeli schools already have computer labs with internet hook-ups.  Most of the Palestinian schools do not have computer labs.  Therefore, there is also a need to include the purchasing of computer hardware for most of the Palestinian schools.

After installation and connection of the required hardware in each school, participants will be instructed in the use of the computer and the Internet. Since the project is an optional activity, we assume that it will involve about 10 to 15 students per class.

After a time of becoming accustomed to the forum and email correspondence, students will be paired up to research a topic which they will choose and make a presentation to their respective classes.  These projects will also be published with the online newsletter.

 

Israeli and Palestinian mentors, under the guidance of the Project Administrator, will cooperate in tutoring the students. Where necessary, they will assist in contacting specialists in the fields into which they wish to delve. Students will thus acquire, in a "fun" way, useful information skills, develop creative and critical thinking, and deepen their research and teamwork abilities. The emphasis throughout the project will be on what the students have in common rather than on what divides them.



IPCRI is gradually turning into a resource center for a much wider public. Our hope is that, as the project progresses, information about it will continue to filter into the three societies that have as yet been untouched by its message of cooperation, mutual respect, and hope for a better common future in the region. The various elements in the project are combined in such a way as to optimize chances that the curriculum package will be widely used but also that the scope of involved target audiences will expand. There are very few joint projects which have sustained operations over a long period of time. The Education for Peace is amongst them and is the only project active in peace education within the framework of formal education. It has become personally important for the people involved, and a lot of time, money, and effort have been invested in it in order to reach the current stage. The Education for Peace project is the first and biggest of its kind that has entered the system and intends to prove to the Ministries of Education that this project is a very important asset in reaching peace and should therefore be adopted in their curricula.

            One of the unique aspects of this project has been its continuity. We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to build the Education for Peace Project, step by step, over a long period, building confidence and friendships between the participants. Participants look forward to meeting one another and have developed trust in one another and in the project staff.

            Once we have completed the implementation stage, the project will be in a position to be adopted by the Ministries of Education and/or by other non-governmental organizations. From then on, numerous schools will have access to a complete, tested and evaluated modular package of education for peace curricula.

            It is worthwhile mentioning that the project was developed, funded and started during the time when the peace process had more hopeful signs and higher appraisal from both the Palestinians and Israelis. Now, two years after the assassination of Mr. Rabin, at a time in which the peace process is virtually at a standstill and people from both sides are not very optimistic, it is all the more important to continue the Education for Peace project. Youngsters are the future of each society and they should be motivated, through education for peace, to find the courage to live with and next to each other in a peaceful and cooperative way.

During work on this project, and on the basis of feedback from specialists involved in conflict resolution and dialogue encounters, the idea of introducing the Internet as a mode of communication and creating a network of students from the region evolved as an exciting possibility. Taking advantage of the infrastructure of schools and classes we have established we believe that The Virtual Classroom idea will constitute an indispensable stepping stone on the way to fulfilling the objectives of education for peace.



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