Agents of change or collaborators? The first Palestinian students from Eastern Jerusalem studying to become Hebrew teachers in an Israeli university

Asmahan Masry-Herzallah*, Adar Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The research aimed to identify pull and push factors motivating the applications of Palestinian-Jerusalemite students (hereafter: PJS) to study a training program for Hebrew teaching in an Israeli university. Semi-structured interviews and an open questionnaire elicited the students’ motivations and learning experiences, to reveal how they coped with political and academic challenges. The findings show that the students’ choice of this program has become a preferred, prestigious option assuming that it serves as a tool for personal and professional empowerment. Additionally, some students saw their decision as enabling them, as Hebrew teachers in the Palestinian education system in Jerusalem (hereafter: PESJ), to act as agents of change for the future economic and academic benefit of their society. Moreover, studying in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (hereafter: HU), the divided city constitutes a sort of temporary ‘migration’ or ‘exile’ to acquire an education. The Israeli academia (hereafter: IA) space creates an opportunity for them to redesign their personal and professional identities. ‘Hybrid identity’, characterised by cultural flexibility, appears to facilitate PJS wandering between different cultural contexts for educational purposes, while maintaining their culture and national identity. The research contributes to previous literature concerning the integration of minorities in higher education (hereafter: HE).

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPedagogy, Culture and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Pedagogy, Culture & Society.

Keywords

  • Hebrew teachers
  • IA
  • PJS
  • Palestinian-Jerusalemite students
  • cultural flexibility
  • hybrid identity

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