The Pantheon of National Hero Prototypes in Educational Texts Understanding Curriculum as a Narrative of National Heroism

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Abstract

This essay explores the relationship between Israeli public and educational discourse and, in particular, how, by implementing various pedagogical strategies aimed at inculcating a typology of national heriosm during the state's first three decades, the state sponsored curriculum "translated" ideological discourse into educational text, integrating the state's ideological value-system into a series of educational messages. The mapping of heroic prototypes in the national curriculum was conducted along the classic time-axis of Jewish history. The earliest prototype was the ancient Hebrew hero of the Bible and the most recent the "soldier as redeemer" of the Six Day War. At the same time, specific values constantly shifted to reflect changing perceptions and definitions of the heroic, including, eventually, the heroism of the Holocaust "survivor." What remained invariable was the symbolic importance Israeli children living in a society accustomed to wars and continuously threatened violence were taught to attach to the ideal of the national hero and heroism itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-332
Number of pages24
JournalJewish History
Volume17
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Curricula
  • Education
  • Elementary -- Israel
  • Heroism
  • History
  • History instruction
  • Holocaust
  • Humanities / Arts
  • Jewish history
  • Jewish peoples
  • Methodology of the Social Sciences
  • Middle school education -- Israel
  • Product development
  • Religion
  • Secondary school curricula
  • Textbooks
  • War
  • Zionism

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