Politics and Education in Israel

Politics and Education in Israel

Politics and Education in Israel

Politics and Education in Israel

Synopsis

Politics and Education in Israelfocuses on the meeting of European Zionists, Non-Zionist Middle Eastern Jews, and Palestinian Arabs in the Israeli school system, the introduction of ability groupings into Israeli schools, the privatization of education and the expansion of elitist schools.

Excerpt

“Take education out of politics!” “Education should not be a political football!” “Keep politics out of the schools!” “Educators should not be political!” These and similar warnings have been sounded at various times in a variety of societies. Such warnings, however, miss (or misconstrue) the point that education is political. Not only is education constituted by and constitutive of struggles over the distribution of symbolic and material resources, but education implies and confers structural and ideological power used to control the means of producing, reproducing, consuming, and accumulating symbolic and material resources (see Ginsburg, 1995; Ginsburg & Lindsay, 1995).

Political struggles about and through education occur in classrooms and nonformal education settings; school and university campuses; education systems; and local, national, and global communities. Different groups of students, educators, parents, business owners, organized labor leaders, government and international organization officials, and other worker-consumer-citizens participate (actively or passively) in such political activity. These struggles not only shape educational policy and practice; they also are dialectically related to more general relations of power among social classes, racial/ethnic groups, gender groups, and nations. Thus, the politics of education and the political work accomplished through education are ways in which existing social relations are reproduced, legitimized, challenged, or transformed.

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