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Continuous Collaborative Self-Study in a Multicultural Teacher Education Program

An Israeli Perspective
Living reference work entry
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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

This chapter presents several stories: the story of multiculturalism in general, the story of being part of a multicultural team, and the story of trying to be intercultural teacher educators. We choose to present our research by interweaving examples and understandings from collaborative self-studies we have done in the context of a multicultural post-graduate teacher education program. Both our student body and our program team are comprised of Arabs and Jews – groups with long-standing historical, political, and cultural conflict between them. Inter-group diversity includes language, religion, places of residence, educational systems, customs, and power structures. Among our understandings is the fact that there will always be several sides to the story. There are often different, sometimes opposing, points of view; therefore solutions may be temporary, fragile, or even illusions. Once we realize this, we understand some expectations we have as teacher educators are unrealistic. As educators we have a moral responsibility to face uncomfortable issues although from time to time, we must consciously decide to respect others’ wishes not to deal with them. Our blended educational environment is a fragile bubble that lets us function in our conflictual, complex reality. This situation demands constant vigilance, causing constant tension. Our continuous self-study helps us cope with this reality by channeling the tension into searches for ways to improve our practice. We understand that unsurprisingly, the ingredients for successful continuous self-study resemble those needed for multicultural education and work – collaboration, trust, patience, and hearing the other.

Keywords

Multiculturalism Cultural identity Israel Conflict Collaborative self-study Teacher education Teacher educators 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kaye Academic College of EducationBeer ShevaIsrael

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir
    • 1
  • Lynn Thomas
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  2. 2.Faculté d’éducationUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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