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IACM 2023

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Hebrew Teachers As Informal Leaders of Change: Palestinian Teachers Teaching The Hebrew Language To Arab Students In Palestinian Schools In East Jerusalem

Throughout history, due to the Palestinian -Israeli conflict, the Palestinian Arabs had many reasons that prevented them from identifying with the Jewish People of Israel. The Hebrew language is the official language of Israel, and the medium of communication between its citizens, for that reason, it is taught in Palestinian Arab schools from the third grade. Palestinian teachers, who are looking for development are aware of the importance of the Hebrew language and are looking for a change among teenagers in society. The study presented here focuses on the dilemmas, experiences, feelings, and opinions of Palestinian teachers who teach the Hebrew language to Palestinian Arab students in East Jerusalem schools. Six in-depth qualitative interviews with Palestinian Hebrew teachers and school principals were conducted. A thematic content analysis based on grounded theory was performed on the interview transcripts. The findings revealed that the teachers are looked at negatively by their students since they teach an unaccepted language, also, the students are not motivated to learn the Hebrew language – the language of the other – despite being aware of its importance in East Jerusalem for communicating and for finding respectable jobs.

Alexandra Shawan
Program for Gender and Diversity Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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