Latvian-Israeli joint effort in building social inclusion through education
Both Latvia and Israel are dealing with significant percentages of pupils from minority groups. These include Russian-speakers in both countries and Arabic speakers in Israel. Due to historical reasons, these minorities are facing discrimination, social exclusion, lack of a sense of belonging to the country.
Even though Latvia and Israel face different challenges, both countries share common needs to solve existing problems related to civic and social inclusion of minority students, as well as challenges to finding a new way in teaching children of diaspora communities.
In the midst of these challenges, the organisers of the project set out to create sustainable partnerships between Latvian and Israeli educational institutions and to develop materials for education experts in both countries that are based on research and best practice learned in study visits. Hence the aim these visits and exchanges were to improve Latvian and Israeli education systems and to develop and conduct an innovative course for further lecturers and school teachers in Latvia and Israel.
To achieve these goals, the following activities were planned:
- A detailed mapping of information regarding Latvian and Israeli education system in general, experience in civic and social education as well as work with minority children and young people.
- Study visits in both partner countries with the aim to learn about the national education system in general as well as civic and social education, minority schools, formal and informal learning examples, etc.
- Development and conduction of an innovative cycle of seminars for further education lecturers and teachers in Latvia and Israel in order to share best practices learned.
Based on the information gained during the visits, a methodological tool was developed for educators to strengthen social and civic competences in the learning process.
Following the development of the methodological material, in the spring of 2017,2 teacher seminars were held to share good practices and provide practical support for educators to integrate social and civic competences into the curriculum.
The project was implemented by three partner organizations: Youth International Program Agency, European Movement Association in Latvia and Merchavim Institute, one of the leading civic education institutes in Israel, with financial support from the Anna Lindh Foundation.
In total, the project spanned from the 9th of September 2016 –until the 9th of June 2017