Palestinian-Jewish bilingual schools in Israel: Unravelling the educational model

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Palestinian-Jewish (“PJ”) bilingual (Arabic-Hebrew) schools in Israel represent a unique educational model that has seen a modest growth in the Israeli education field over the last few decades. A variety of terms are used to define this educational model, including bilingual, binational, multicultural, and integrated, as well as a form of peace education and critical democratic education. This multiplicity of definitions reflects the fact that while all the PJ schools were founded on a fundamental ideological vision of shared education between Jews and Arabs, none was developed based on a clear bilingual, or any other single, educational model. This paper presents the different educational models that influenced the emergence and development of the PJ schools and proposes that despite the uncoordinated entanglement of influences, a certain model of PJ bilingual education can be identified. I suggest that all the schools share a similar integration of three primary educational approaches and implement similar key strategies and practices in developing their curricula and pedagogies. I claim that a central factor in this development is the unique circumstances of the Israeli education system and conflict-ridden Israeli society in which these schools emerged, developed, and have survived and the challenges they have had to contend with in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102092
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Palestinian-Jewish education
  • bilingual education
  • critical education, conflict-ridden society
  • peace education
  • progressive education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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