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Introduction to the course
Civic Education and Democracy in Israel - Challenges and Pathways
Yitzhak Yogev, Manal Abu Ahmad Yazbak, Evanne Ratner, Tamar Meirovitz, Doron Neiderland, Yochevad Yorkovsky
Course status/ level
4-6 ECTS and between 2-4 Israeli academic credits
The course envisages improvement of the principles of civic education and democracy in the higher education institutions of Israel.
Students get acquainted of global challenges of Civic Education and Democracy, and know about the measures taken to resolve them and to recognize the goals of sustainable development in the context of Israel.
Students analyze activities which are conducted for the goals of Civic Education and Democracy development and evaluate effectiveness of the best practices compared to other democratic countries.
Students recognize their professional and personal role in public awareness of the civic education and implementation of democratic values.
Students are able to conduct planning of research within the context of Civic Education, as well as to enhance implementation, and evaluation of the results.
Within the frame of their competences and action plans students are able to raise public awareness in the field of civic education and take care of the enhancement of the democratic values in the Israeli context .
To know about civic education theory, educational values in Jewish/Muslim culture, educational values in Israel, pluralism, Jewish/Arab identity, and Israeli identity and critically discuss conflicts in Israeli society.
To analyze activities which are conducted for the goals of Civic Education and Democracy development and to evaluate effectiveness of the best practices compared in other countries.
To plan practical projects promoting civic activities both on and off campus (human rights, gender, and subordinate groups).
To recognize their professional and personal role in public awareness of civic education and formation of democratic values.
To conduct planning of research, implementation, and evaluation of the results within the framework of civic education.
Within the frame of their competences and action plans raise public awareness in civic education and enhancement of the democratic values.
Students are able to identify the problem of specific research areas.
Students are to identify relevant research methods, to collect data, to make analyses and to develop commendations for further actions.
Students are able to make the acquaintance of global challenges of Civic Education and Democracy, and the measures taken to resolve them and to recognize the goals of sustainable development in the context of Israel.
Students are able to analyze activities which were conducted for the goals of Civic Education and Democracy development and to evaluate effectiveness of the best practices compared in other countries.
Students are able to to recognize their professional and personal role in public awareness of civic education and formation of democratic values.
Students are able to conduct and plan research, to promote implementation, and evaluation of the results within the scope of the civic education and the problems of democracy and to frame action plan and raise public awareness in the civic education and enhancement of the democratic values.
Students are able to identify the problems of specific research areas.
Students are able to identify relevant research methods, to collect data, to make analyses and to develop recommendations to solve problems in the Israeli democracy.
The lectures and seminars are built on the principles of interactive teaching.
The main methodological approach of the course is problem-based learning. The following basic methods are used:
Class discussion conducted by Lecture
Debate on current issues by students
Group Presentations by students
Student reports by individuals
10. Service Learning
Every college can choose 2-4 topics and promote a course according to the college’s agenda. We suggest that the course take place for the duration of one academic year, and that the developed projects continue for two academic years.
On the seminar student's groups present the interim report, as well as make and receive feedback from peers and from the lecture on a base of which will offer corrections in research and will make adjustment of amendments of the final report. Below are suggestions for assessment.
Activity – 30
First Midterm assessment – 20
Second Midterm assessment – 20
Presentation - 30
The scores will be calculated according to the following:
71-80 Above Average
51-60 Below Average
(FX) 41-50 Failing
0-40 Withdrawal from course
Week № and Lesson Activity
It is recommended to select 6 Units at most
Each Unit has to include at least two topics
Each Unit should include the following:
Topic of Lesson
Topic Rationale and Objectives
Unit 1: Trends in the development of democracy and civic society
UNIT 1: THEORY OF DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY
TOPIC 1: State and society; Natural rights, the public contract; People's sovereignty; Principles of separation of powers.
This topic in a theoretical introduction to the origin and principles of the state, and principles of organizing democratic governments.
are able to describe different kinds of states and their organizational structure.
- are able to describe the characteristics of the various formats of the state and its social and political functions.
- are able to discuss the international and national documents in the field of principles of separation of powers.
-are able to list the rights, obligations and responsibilities of people's sovereignty in democratic societies.
1. Donald Peretz & Gideon Doron (2018), "How the government works"? The government and Politics In Israel Routledge, N.Y. E-Book pp.
2. Yoav Peled ( 2005) Development of civil society in Israel Palestine Israel Journal
TOPIC 2: Political regimes and citizenship.
Rationale and Objectives:
This topic presents the characteristics of different political regimes (democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian) and the human civil action in terms of characteristics and their functioning (governance, economy, litigation, culture) and scopes of authority and power (the balance of individual freedom and social order).
Students reflect upon different perspectives of human rights in the world and in Israel.
- Students are able to explain the basic characteristics of political regimes and describe the scope of the civil capacity of the human / community (assumptions and restrictions)
- Students are able to list the rights, obligations and responsibilities of an Israeli Citizen.
Compulsory Literature :
1. Gavison, Ruth (1985). "The Controversy over Israel's Bill of Rights". Israel Yearbook of Human Rights. 15: 113–154.
2. different political regimes: GOVERNMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST :http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/war-iraq/lesson_helper/pdfs/mideastgovernments.pdf
“Waiting for Godot”: Regime Change Without Democratization in the Middle East
Unit 2. Human rights, their protection mechanism and the establishment of civil society
TOPIC 3 : The Genesis of Human Rights
Students realize that human rights are part of humanitarian and socio-cultural development, which passed through the millennia and remains as a center of political, legal, ethical, religious and philosophical thinking.
- Students are be able to analyze the human rights issues in different epochs and characteristic of the modern period features.
- Students are be able to analyze human rights issues in Israeli society.
1. A. W. Brian Simpson(2004) Human rights and the end of empires
Oxford University Press
Karimova (2016)Human Rights and Development in International Law
TOPIC 4 : International Standards of Human Rights Protection
This topic presents the functioning of human rights institutions and instruments within the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Students understand the role and importance of international institutions in terms of human rights protection.
- Students are able to describe the rights and responsibilities of institutions such as the UN and the Council of Europe in the process of human rights protection.
1. International Standards of Human Rights Protection, 2014 Israeli Reforms Association - GRASS.
2. Lashkhia, m. - Human Rights: Genesis, Value and Present, 2011
1. Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, https://matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/view/1208370
TOPIC 5 : Israeli National Strategy of Human Rights
This topic introduces The Israeli National Strategy for the protection of Human Rights and constitutional and international standards, principles and norms which are being applied in Israel.
- Students are able to analyze and compare Israel’s approach to human rights with international standards and describe the mechanisms and criteria that are applied to assess the effectiveness of implementing the policy.
1. National Strategy of Human Rights of Israel, for 2014 -2020 years, Decision of the Parliament of Israel
1. The Government of Israel Action Plan (2016-2017), Israeln government; Resolution No. 338, 21 July 2016
2. Report of the Government of Israel in 2014-2020 By 2017, with the introduction of the National human defense Program, the following is prepared by Magi Nicholson.
TOPIC 6 : Civic society formation in Israel - trends and concepts
This unit presents the history and processes of the formation of civil society in Israel and the status of Israeli Civil society today.
- Students are able to describe and analyze the factors, challenges and future perspectives that constitute civil society formation in Israel; students are able to describe the mechanisms of the functioning of civil society . Students are able to debate the idea of separation of “church and state” and the challenges of the Israeli society being a Democratic State and a Jewish State.
1. Gia Nodia, Civil Society Development in Israel: Achievements and Challenges
2.EU Strategy for Cooperation with Civil Society, Date of Approval: 21 July 2014
1. EU Strategy for Cooperation with Israeli Civil Society 2014 - 2017 Approved by the Embassies of the EU Delegation and EU Member States Date of Approval: 21 July 2014
Unit 3: Democracy and active citizenship
TOPIC 7 : The essence of democracy, principles and development trends
This unit presents the basic principles and norms of democracy. In addition it discusses the State of Israel as a Democratic State taking into consideration the diversity of religions in the country and the place of Judaism within the State.
- Students are able to debate challenges of establishing a Democracy in Israel as a Jewish State and to describe the political, social, economic and cultural environment of the Israeli Democratic Society.
Cohen, A. (2015). Two together, a Guide to Jewish-Democratic Education. Israel Institute for Democracy, pages 33-45. (Hebrew).
Lamberg, D. (2006). Freedom of the Individual versus the General Good, in Citizenship for Matriculation: A Jewish-Democratic State in Reality, Gesher Educational Enterprises, Rechesh. Pages 105-140 (Hebrew).
RONALD C. ( 2012) ; ISRAEL KOSMOS JOURNAL FOR GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION ,
SPRING \ SUMMER
YISHA , Y ( 2002); Civil Society and Democracy: The Israeli Experience,
: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations Vol. 13, No. 3
Bard, M. (2002). Human rights an Introduction. In Democracy and Active Citizenship. U.S. Foreign Ministry, Washington, D.C.
Bard, M. (2002). Myth and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. American Cooperative Enterprise, New York, U.S.
Cohen, A., and Susser, B. (2000). Israel and the Politics of Jewish Identity, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
TOPIC 8: Civil society and democratic citizenship
This topic introduces the concepts of civil society and democratic citizenship for students; it discusses issues of civil society and democratic citizenship in Israel in the context of international practice.
Students realize the importance of civil society for a democratic development in Israel; they have knowledge about factors and tools for promoting democratic citizenship.
Students are able to describe the development of civil society and democratic citizenship in Israel.
Ichilov, O. (2013). Nation building, collective identities, democracy
and citizenship education in Israel. In Orit Ichilov (Ed.), Citizenship and Citizenship Education in a
Changing World (pp.69-82). NY: Routledge.
Smooha, S. (2002). The model of ethnic democracy: Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Nations and Nationalism 8(4), 475-502.
Smooha, S. (2002). Types of democracy and modes of conflict management in ethnically divided societies. Nations and Nationalism 8 (4), 423-431.
Unit 4: Education and Citizenship
TOPIC 9: Education and democratic citizenship
This topic presents in detail the Council of Europe’s - "New Model of Competences for Democratic Culture" and the role of educational institutions in nurturing and developing civic and civil competences among children and students.
- Students are able to summarize the main focus of the "New Model of Competence of Democratic Culture" and to discuss how this model can be applied to the Israeli Educational systems.
1. Ilov, ich O., Salomon, G.Ori , Inbar, D. (2015) Citizenship Education in Israel – A Jewish-Democratic State Research gate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248953792_Citizenship_Education_in_Israel_-_A_Jewish-Democratic_State
2. "New Model of Competences for Democratic Culture". The Council of Europe. 2017
3. Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (EDC/HRE)
Lemish, P. (2010) Civic and Citizenship Education in Israel. Cambridge journal of Education, Vol. 33' 2003 issue 1
TOPIC 10 : International and national policy documents for democratic citizenship.
This unit presents international and Israeli national policy documents ("Council of Europe Charter on Democratic Citizenship Education and Human Rights", "National Education for General Education", "National Curriculum", "Law of Israel on General Education" etc.) which are creating a theoretical and practical framework for democratic citizenship.
Learning Outcome :
- Students are able to analyze and evaluate “the democratic citizenship competences” in Israeli national educational policy documents.
1. The Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education
2.William F. Pinar (2013) International handbook Curriculum research in Israel Routledge
3. Ismael Abu-Saad (2006) State educational policy and curriculum: The case of Palestinian Arabs in Israel. International Education Journal
Dietram And Israel Waisman Manor (2006) Democracy based on differences. Journal of Communication, Volume 56, Issue 4, 1 December 2006, Pages 728–753
TOPIC 11 : Global challenges of democratic citizenship and sustainable development goals in the educational sphere of Israel.
Rationale and Objectives:
This topic presents pedagogical practices (classroom, school or non-formal learning context) and didactic strategies that promote democratic competencies for students of all ages.
Learning Outcomes :
- Students are able to evaluate the standards of pedagogical practices (classroom, school, informal education) on the basis of competencies of democratic citizenship and will settle its improvement strategies.
1. "New Model of Competences for Democratic Culture". The Council of Europe. 2017
1. Pharar, M. Muna, a. Rothmund, A. Ed. A. Rothmund, A. 2004. Domino (a publication how to use peer education in combating racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance). The Council of Europe.
Unit 5: The role of civic education in the 21st century environmental sustainable development challenges
Unit 6. The role of civic education in the 21st century environmental sustainable development challenges
TOPIC 12 : The concept of environmental sustainable development
This topic presents the concepts of environmental sustainable development, international and national environmental legislation and the challenges for Israel in this regard.
- Students determine the importance of natural resources for human existence; They discuss the tendencies of natural resources reduction and its causes; They become familiar with issues of diversity of environmental degradation process and about global and national food safety thematic.
1. New Sustainable Development Agenda, Leaving No One Behind; 2015
3. Sustainable agricultural development for food security. FAO REPORT) 2016; http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5795e.pdf
4. Food and Agriculture Organization, The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2014. http://www.fao.org/3/ai4030e.pdf
5. International Food Policy Research Institute, Global Hunger Index, 2014. http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi14.pdf
1. European Commission, Science for Environment Policy: Climate Change to Shift Global Spread & Quality of Agriculture Land, 2015. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/climate_change_to_shift_global_spread_q uality_agricultural_land_403na1_en.pdf
2. The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Food Security & Sociopolitical Stability, 2013. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/food-security-and-sociopolitical-stability
3. Emmy Simmons, Harvesting Peace: Food Security, Conflict & Cooperation, 2013. http://wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/HarvestingPeace.pdf
TOPIC 13 : The role of civil education in maintaining sustainable environment
This topic discusses the importance of civic education on sustainable development of the environment (economic, social, ecological).
It reflects on challenges to get acquainted with the importance of civil activity in the role of civic activities in the sustainable development of the environment.
The main goal is that students develop competencies on democratic citizenship according to the objectives of the International Environmental and National Policy Documents for Sustainable Development and also capacities of their realization.
Learning Outcomes :
Students are able to express their assumptions about the perspectives of sustainable development of the environment; to discuss the role of civil involvement in sustainable development of natural resources and poverty reduction.
1. A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century; Development Centre Studies; A TOOLKIT FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES © OECD 2016
2. The Substantive Democracy: Role of Civil Society Karnataka1 Shareena Banu C, P. Research Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
3. Administration Planning: An Exploration of Social Justice, Equity, and Citizen Inclusion; Administrative Theory & Praxis Vol. 29, No. 3, 2007:
Unit 6. The role of civil organizations in raising civic awareness in Israel
TOPIC 14 : Structure, goals and activities of public organizations
This topic presents the important status of organizations (research centers, service oriented organizations, advocacy, youth organizations, volunteering, etc.) in raising civic awareness and ways in which NGOs and CSOs function in Democratic Societies.
Learning Outcomes :
Students are able to understand the interaction between CSO activities and organization's mission, to evaluate the accountability and transparency tools used by the organization.
Wahrman, H. (2013). Citizenship between the Lines - A Critical Look at Civics Studies in Israel. Tel Aviv: Resling. (Hebrew)
Yiftachel, O. (2006). Ethnocracy: Land and identity politics in Israel/Palestine. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
1. EU Road Maps for Collaboration with Civil Society 2014 - 2017 Manual, Retrieved from http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/Israel/documents/civil_society_library/eu_roadmap_Israel.pdf
2. AUGUR (2012) Challenges for Europe in the world in 2030, Retrieved from http://www.augurproject.eu/IMG/pdf/cso_note_provisional_draft5_june_2012.pdf
TOPIC 15 : Role Strengthening Instrument for Social Organizations: Teaching Through Public Activities
This topic presents the four-step model of teaching for students by civic activities. Students plan their activities in the educational institutions, and consider the scale and significance of the alleged social change.
Students are able to plan youth groups activities which will be organized by themselves or by educational institutions.
Chorev, E. N. (2008). Arab NGOs Civic and Social Change in Israel: Mapping the Field. Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute.
Jamal, A. (2007). Strategies of minority struggle for equality in ethnic states: Arab politics in Israel. Citizenship Studies, 11(3), 263–282.
Quaynor, L. J. (2012). Citizenship education in post-conflict contexts: a review of the literature. Education. Citizenship and Social Justice, 7(1), 33-57.
Agbaria, A. K., Mustafa, M. and Jabareen, Y. T. (2014). ‘In your face’ democracy: education for belonging and its challenges in Israel. British Educational Research Journal, 41(1), 143-175