The cultural identity of Education students from East Jerusalem studying in an Israeli College in West Jerusalem – by Helen Kakounda

Jerusalem plays an important role in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city.Despite efforts to maintain peaceful religious coexistence, some sites, such as the Temple Mount, have been a continuous source of friction and controversy.

East Jerusalem, culture, identity, teacher trainees

This research focused on the cultural identity of Arab teacher trainees from East Jerusalem studying in a Jewish college in West Jerusalem. Such studies have not been conducted previously. Ten life stories of students were analyzed, and central themes identified. Narratives revealed that beyond their studies as teacher trainees in West Jerusalem, students also underwent personal changes and shifting attitudes towards the Jewish “other”. They distinguished between the “establishment” (perceived as “the enemy”) and individuals (often regarded as close acquaintances, even friends). They viewed study in the Israeli education system to be superior to Arab schools and institutions, and important to their professional advancement.

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About the author:
Helen Kakounda-Muallem is lecturer at the David Yellin Academic Education, The Mofet Institute, Israel.

Categories: 2022, Articles - JETEN

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