Diversity – Education – Belonging: German and Israeli Stakeholders in Dialogue

Diversity, education, and belonging are key words that have a central place in today’s societies. But what do they mean and what are the possibilities to address them? Finding ways to transmit these concepts is the main task of various educational institutions. At the invitation of Achva College of Education in June 2011, experts in the field of education from Germany and Israel meet to develop together new teacher training approaches and innovative curricula.

The participants take up anew a theme that was discussed at a conference in the fall of 2010. This first conference facilitated a network of German and Israeli educators who tackled the question of conveying history in an immigrant-receiving society. The sequel to this first meeting now takes place in Israel with some familiar and some new faces. The main focus of the second meeting is in-and out-of-school teaching. The participants work in various institutions such as schools, memorial centers, museums, non-profit associations, or recreational facilities. In this way, the participants are part of comprehensive educational processes that take place both in and outside the classroom.

Not only is each group a source of inspiration for the other, the public education system in both countries can also benefit greatly from this fruitful exchange with out-of-school learning. An important question of the meeting is how to address diversity in educational work? How is this transmitted in two multicultural societies that are not defined as such by all societal groups? For this, new concepts and bilateral project ideas are needed. The participants will find inspiration for taking on this important task during the intensive group work, round-table discussions, and presentations by Israeli experts in the field. In addition, an introduction to the practice on the ground is also part of the joint work. An excursion to Bedouin villages and towns, a visit to the Arab-Jewish Center in Jaffa as well as to a center for Ethiopian migrants in Ramla point out the opportunities and conflicts by way of particular examples in Israeli educational work. Together with the impressions gained during the Berlin excursions, an intense experiential learning process can be developed, that may lead to new training concepts and curricula.

With the project “Diversity – Education – Belonging,” the Achva College of Education brings together 20 German and Israeli experts from different areas of educational work in June 2011 in Achva. The objective of the conference and the joint excursions is to further strengthen the networks of educational work in both countries with an emphasis on in- and out-of-school education. This task already started in October 2010 with the conference “Migration – History – Belonging: Educational Stakeholders from Germany and Israel in Dialogue“ in Berlin. The result of which was a number of concrete bilateral educational projects organized by some of the participating institutions.