In the ”Art of Kulanana” program, students create shared citizenship through art. Young citizens, aged 10-12, from different identity groups, encounter each other through an in-depth process of familiarity with the other and mutual learning. The program includes seminars for teachers, weekly art classes that focus on diversity and familiarity with the other’s culture, and student encounters in museums and galleries. In 2014-2015, 1,600 boys and girls from 55 elementary schools around the country participate in the program. The program is led by the Visual Arts Superintendent and the Headquarters for Civic Education and Shared life at the Ministry of Education, a as a joint initiative with Merchavim.
The “Let’s Talk”, a spoken Arabic language studies program promotes shared citizenship and is part of developing students’ awareness of being citizens of the country and to the existence of other citizens living beside them. The major objectives of the program are to provide basic knowledge and acquisition of the Arabic language and knowledge of Arabic culture.
This year there are approximately 9,000 pupils, in grades 4th to 6th grades, in the program and receiving two weekly hours of teaching in 39 participating elementary schools in the Central District.
The program is supplemented by two training kits: “Let’s Meet” for Jewish and Arab pupils participating in encounters; and “Let’s Get Acquainted”, for the study of the Arab and Islamic worlds and communicative Arabic in Jewish middle schools.
Merchavim provides a wide range of courses for kindergarten teachers, teachers and other professionals in the education system. Training seminars are held in diverse groups, offer an experiential opportunity and deals with issues of identity, accessibility, fairness, spaces of agreement, active shared citizenship and building a joint space of agreement and active citizenship towards the creation of fairer teaching, classrooms and schools. In recent years, the focus has been on providing training courses for kindergarten teachers and teachers to various subject areas – citizenship, art, English, Arabic, and physical education.
Merchavim leads a joint initiative with the Ministry of Education, aimed at integrating 500 Arab teachers in Jewish schools in the next five years, as teachers in the following subjects: English, science and mathematics. In the 2014-2015 school year, 91 teachers are participating in this program, along with dozens of teachers teaching the Arabic language across all grade levels. The program utilizes a training kit for teachers and school principals – “Join and Integrate” – incorporating Merchavim’s accumulated knowledge on the subject and the field experience of several senior educators.