The Challenge of School Leadership in a War Zone: A Palestinian School in East Jerusalem



This chapter presents a case study investigating the challenges facing a Palestinian school in the very eye of the storm in the divided city of Jerusalem. This is therefore a rich ethnographic case study of a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem where the principal finds himself defending his staff and students in encounters with Israeli soldiers at the checkpoints on their way to school. The reality in the city radiates onto teachers’ and students’ functioning and the school’s educational climate. To clarify the way in which the school copes with their daily conflict experiences, we conducted a qualitative study, interviewing key figures in the school in depth and performing observations within and outside the school walls. This enabled us to paint an accurate portrait of the school. The chapter closes with several conclusions concerning the school’s coping strategies within a conflict zone.


Challenges School leadership Jerusalem Palestine Curriculum 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Al-Qasemi Academic College of EducationBaqa al-GharbiyyeIsrael
  2. 2.The Center for Academic StudiesOr YehudaIsrael

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