The blindness of ideological commitment: The educational tragedy of Arab/Jewish co-existence

Adam E. Nir, Michal Katz, Mousa Karayanni, David Gordon, Adar Lavie

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Based on an evaluation of an Israeli project developed to promote and foster Arab-Jewish co-existence, this study illustrates some of the educational problems that can arise as a result of ideological commitment. The programme was designed to emphasize the commonalities and the similarities between the two nationalities. The evaluation revealed different reactions and perspectives towards the programme by teachers and students. Teachers were active, enthusiastic, and happy to meet each other. Students were passive, less enthusiastic, and tended to remain within the boundaries of their ethnic group. The observations indicated that much of teachers' enthusiasm might be the outgrowth of teachers' workshops which aimed to produce believers in the ideology and ideas of the project. As a result, teachers often misread students' reactions to activities and failed to interpret correctly students' dissatisfaction. Extreme commitment may create a blindness which leads to uncritical transfer from teacher to student activity and to a loss of touch with reality. Such conduct may become harmful especially, when ideological commitment overcomes pedagogical considerations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)659-677
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Arabs
  • Co-existence
  • Commitment
  • Ideology
  • Israelis


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