“The Brave Ones”: Improving pedagogy inside schools
This program seeks to provide answers to two challenges facing Israeli society:
- Israel’s education system is antiquated and not suited to the rapidly changing world of twenty-first century and the democratic challenges of society. It does not prepare students to study independently or to be responsible and active citizens. Schools and their curricula need to be designed in a new and innovative way in order to educate children to be learning adults, to be active in a changing environment.
- The Israeli education system creates divisions between people based on their ethnic origins and beliefs. The Brave Ones operates in all sectors of Israeli society and aims to realize the interaction of principals and education staff around a common objective and to thereby reduce the alienation between different population groups.
The Brave Ones program aspires to be a platform for study and inspiration for schools that select to enter this process of long-term pedagogic accompaniment. DI is looking to provide the schools with a network of connections, the tools of mutual study, and training from external sources. This is achieved by:
- Meetings with principals and educational staff who are participating in the project.
- Visits to schools that serve as educational beacons.
- Bulletins that are published bimonthly on different topics and serve as sources of information and inspiration.
Throughout the three-year process, an advisor comes to the schools once a week (or once every other week) for a full day. Work takes places in a number of simultaneous frameworks:
- Work with the principal and the management of the management, vision, and objectives of the school in order to create democratic management that is cooperative and based on dialogue.
- Work with the teaching staff on the implementation of pedagogic models in the classroom.
- Work with the teaching staff on the knowledge and skills needed to create a school language and to familiarize them with the pedagogy and path selected by the school.
In the first year, DI works with the school to map areas of strength, growth, and improvement and to identify individual and overall work habits, the various relationships in the school, and the existing knowledge. This enables a matching between the school staff and the pedagogy, which is chosen to suit the spirit of the school either from existing models, such as PBL, or using a new, tailor-made model based on a number of innovative pedagogical designs. The process of implementation begins in places that are identified as strong in order to create a successful experience.
In the second year, implementation of the new model is expanded and leading people identified to serve as future mentors. Already in the second year, we expect to see outcomes from the new learning processes.
In the third year, DI supports and strengthens the leading people, enabling them to work independently after the end of the program.
The common characteristic of the schools is that they enter this program independently without a supporting body such as the municipality or another educational network. The condition for acceptance into the program is the principal’s willingness to take part and be committed to the process.
The project has been operating since August 2015 with already 30 participating schools across Israel from the Arab sector in East Jerusalem, the secular sector, and the religious sector.
For activities in the Arab sector, all materials were translated into Arabic to make the project accessible.
This program continues to grow and expand.
The Democratic Institute - society and education
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