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The Center for Humanistic Education: Training Courses for Teachers Expanding

Over the last two years, the in-service training courses for teachers have expanded in subject areas as well as number of participants. Some 160 teachers have taken the new courses offered by the Center for Humanistic Education (CHE):

1.      Training facilitators for Arab-Jewish dialogue groups: This course is designed for educators who wish to acquire or improve their facilitation skills, particularly in the field of Arab-Jewish dialogue groups. The program includes experiencing a dialogue group, theory of dialogue group facilitation, and a practice facilitation of colleagues in Jewish-Arab pairs. Every course had 16 participants, including school supervisors, college teachers, counselors, teachers, and instructors of informal education programs.

Some feedback we received:

·         This course changed my life. It became very important for me to hear the other, and I miss hearing the words of the other…

·         You took people who didn’t know each other and transformed them into a group. We feel close and connected. The facilitation was an art…

·         For me, this course was a real opportunity to stop and learn and think about things that I had not thought about before…

·         You put me through a process about which I was not conscious; I thought I was more open, and yet I found in me patterns of thought and feelings. I learned a great deal from what you imparted to us.

 

2.      Teaching the Holocaust – the CHE way – for Arab history teachers: This course grew out of the need of teachers who lacked tools to convey a complex subject in the face of resistance by some students. The course was created in cooperation with the Coordinator of History in Arab Schools and the Unit for Educating for Coexistence in the Ministry of Education, based on the experience accumulated by CHE in teaching the Holocaust in multi-cultural contexts. Fifteen teachers from a range of schools participated in each course. The teachers came with curiosity, concerns, and doubts, and in practice found themselves, first of all, questioning the meaning of the Holocaust for themselves. From there, how to teach it to students became clearer, although teaching this subject remains challenging and complex.

Some feedback we received:

·         Today I am more aware of myself and what could happen to me and my family if we don’t all take responsibility for what is happening around us. From my perspective, humanistic responsibility means protecting lives and preventing more suffering, no matter for whom.

·         Good facilitation, which led to a pluralistic discourse and the expression of diverse views.

·         What happened took place not only in the course. I now enter my classroom differently. This is the first time I am teaching about the Holocaust as I would have wanted to.

 

3.      Teaching about the Holocaust and educating for democracy: This ideological-didactic course focuses on the CHE approach to teaching the Holocaust. In the last two years, this course was given at the Teaching Staff Development Center – Hadera, the Mevo’ot Iron regional school, Ironi E in Haifa, and here at Ghetto Fighters’ House. A total of 100 teachers of all subjects and grades participated.

Some feedback we received:

·         It was a privilege to participate in this course, at the core of which was honing sensitivity to the other, relating to events around us, and consideration for those who are “invisible” or weak in our society.

·         In these days of insanity in Israeli society, the importance of this course is clear.

·         I have taken many courses about the Holocaust, but this one is rooted in reality and opened new, diverse directions for me.

·         The subjects discussed had me talking about them even the next day; in my opinion, this is proof of thought-provoking teaching.

 

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