Shaping landscape identity in Jewish state education during the 1950s to 1960s

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This paper discusses the attempts of Israeli education, in a similar fashion to other national educational systems, to shape a territorial identity for the pupils of the new State. The Israeli school used a variety of educational means to shape a person who would be modelled on his new birthplace's landscape, including the use of textbooks, illustrations, and maps, to aid in the process of creating a desired image of the homeland's landscape. The hidden curriculum used textbooks employing mathematics questions to learn details about the geographical expanse. Alongside the use of a written curriculum, Israeli education made use of the extra curriculum by becoming physically familiar with a place and creating a local time based on the seasons of the year. Local nature was studied during moledet (homeland) lessons, similar to the Weimar Republic of Germany's Heimatkunde studies, as well as during other subjects, such as nature studies and Bible. These studies integrated national goals and progressive humanistic educational schools of thought which viewed a child's encounter with nature as a vital part of his or her education. The readers, which were built on a timeline of the seasons and the school celebrating nature festivals, created a natural time frame for the pupils in which they acted and studied. The discussion about the ways territorial identity was structured by the Israeli education system is another chapter in the wider debate about national education and illustrates the schools' function as one of the State's national social agents, particularly in its early years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-252
Number of pages17
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Corporeal teaching
  • Cycle of seasons
  • Homeland curriculum
  • Israeli education
  • National education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History


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