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Education for All

 

The World Conference on Education held in Thailand in 1990, marked the emergence of an international consensus that education is the single most vital element in the fight against poverty, the empowerment of women, the promotion of human rights and democracy, and the protection of the environment. Six primary goals relating to early childhood, primary education, lifelong learning, adult literacy, gender parity and quality education were drawn from international targets and constitute a collective framework for action for achieving Education for All, contributing to the global pursuit of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Two MDGs relate specifically to education but none of the eight MDGs can be achieved without sustained investment in education.

In order to meet these challenges, MASHAV is engaged in developing an action plan for international development assistance to achieve Education for All. The focus areas of the action plan are inclusion, literacy, early childhood education, primary and secondary education, gender parity, quality of education, holistic education, capacity-building, strengthening initiatives on lifelong learning, and education for sustainable development.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Millennium Development Goal #2 calls for 'universal primary education' and recognizes the symbiotic links between early childhood education and human economic development. Longitudinal studies show that investment in the education of young children helps them fulfill their potential as productive, capable adults. Since its establishment, MASHAV has always viewed the education of young children as a top priority, both for the sake of the children, and to aid in the empowerment of their mothers by enabling them to continue working.

TEACHER TRAINING

UNESCO's 2006 "Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015" report states that countries across the world will need to recruit more than 18 million teachers by the next decade. In this rapidly changing world, teachers are required to deal with the myriad needs of children and with the necessity to teach them not only the subject matter, but also how to think effectively, where to find information, and how to make use of it. As someone equipped to face the future, the teacher needs to be in a continuous process of learning. MASHAV programs address issues faced by today's professional school staff: the changing role of the school principal; empowerment of classroom teachers; staff development and advancement; and evaluation processes while presenting advanced pedagogical methods and a variety of approaches for teaching specific subjects. Programs also address Training Teachers towards Sustainability fostering environmental-social awareness.

EDUCATION AT SERVICE OF NATIONAL PROJECTS

Many of the most difficult challenges of recent decades have been to design, develop and implement new systems and to plan and manage large-scaled social changes.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of education, since it encompasses not only the educational system itself but also other social systems that are influenced by, and connected to the education system. MASHAV programs address issues faced by today’s educational professionals whose responsibilities require allocation of resources and development of educational policies and programs on the institutional level as well as on the regional or the national level.

TECHNOLOGIES IN EDUCATION

The ICT era imposes vast changes on our lives in general and on the educational process in particular. Computers and communication enable innovations in teaching methods, which are closely linked with the changes occurring in the learning process. ICT allows the implementation of the conceptual base developed by the school staff, providing innovative applications which can assist in the implementation of non-technological projects.

The Israeli Educational System has vast experience in implementing reforms in the educational environment and in adapting to the information era. Based on this experience, MASHAV's professional programs aim to acquaint participants with a variety of learning methods and applications. MASHAV addresses also the subject of Education for Science and Technology. The advancement of science and technology in our times requires new approaches to teaching and learning, such as interdisciplinary in science education, materials and new methods for teaching and teachers' training.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Special Education comprises educational, psychological and sociological approaches for children diagnosed as impaired either mentally, emotionally or physically. The educational dimension of special education is inter-disciplinary, in which the educator, psychologist, social worker, nurse, paramedic, doctor and parents take part. MASHAV’s professional programs aim to acquaint participants with a variety of learning methods and applications and analyze the possibilities and limitations of each framework in order to make these frameworks compatible with the needs of the child with special needs.

Brief descriptions of some of MASHAV's professional programs in the field:

BILINGUALISM AND MULTILINGUALISM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD - EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

People often move from country to country, city to city, or village to city out of necessity, or to find a "better quality of life". Each one of these changes means an adjustment to a new culture, and a new way of life. Changes of this nature also frequently mean learning a new language. Children who have a good command of their mother tongue will rapidly and easily acquire a second language as they need it. They also need to hear their language validated in order to have greater confidence in their culture and in themselves as mother tongue speakers.

Program topics include: Child rearing practices; Cultural conceptualization of childhood; Motherchild interaction; Cross-cultural communication: parent educator; educator-pupil; groups of children among themselves; Stereotypes and prejudices as a behavior barrier to intercultural communication; Models and stages of language development; Interaction between cognitive, social, and language abilities; Language universals and language specifics; Narrative abilities; Early literacy in home and at school; Language and gender; Language disorders associated with bilingualism/ multilingualism; Educational implications of bilingualism/ multilingualism: Policy decisions about and assessment of first and second languages; Importance of preserving cultures, using culturally appropriate transition and immersion models; Changing attitudes of educational staff.

TEACHER TRAINING FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Teacher training institutions are concerned about being able to adequately equip educators of the next generation who belong to an increasingly multicultural world, and will need special tools in order to maintain cultural identity while conversing tolerantly with others. A kindergarten teacher capable of educating this generation must, in addition to the above overarching mandate, perceive her/himself as a professional: a specialist in early childhood education. This requires knowledge of children’s developmental needs, together with the skills needed to manage the kindergarten and provide an attractive environment for children to thrive.

Topics include: Developmental psychology, language development, cultural studies; Communication skills; Alternative teaching methods - teaching large and small groups and individuals; The use of creative arts in teaching; Preparation for primary school; Basic skills in literacy, numeracy, problem solving, and use of computers; Evaluation skills; Practical Aspects of Teacher Training - Keeping a pedagogic diary; Relating to feedback, Critical thinking and reflection.

ADULT EDUCATION

Having dropped out of the educational system at some point in time, many populations now find themselves locked out of civic and economic life within their countries. As a result, they become marginal populations that inhibit their country's development, and they can also give rise to groups that endanger its civil fabric. Adult education - both training and development - is the fundamental means of integrating these populations into society as citizens who contribute to their communities.

Israel, with decades of experience integrating populations of many different backgrounds and origins into its citizenry, can serve as a model. Over the years, Israel has needed to organize its educational system to serve every sector of its complicated society and to promote the civic awareness in each population group.

Objective: To train a skilled team to serve as planners, promoters, and initiators of adult educational training and development at the basic level (elementary and post-elementary) as required to close gaps, provide professional training, develop civic awareness, and bolster self-esteem and self-confidence.

PRINCIPALS, TEACHERS AND EDUCATIONAL INSPECTORS TRAINING

The changes taking place in every aspect of today's world have a powerful and immediate influence on the nature and function of professional educators, whose role includes the ability to mediate between students and the world around them. To address this challenge, the educational system must concern itself with developing, supporting, and improving its most important resources - teachers, principals, supervisors, and counselors.

MASHAV programs address issues faced by today's professional school staff: the changing role of the school principal; empowerment of classroom teachers; staff development and advancement; and evaluation processes. Its seminars present advanced pedagogical methods and a variety of approaches for teaching specific subjects.

Objective: To develop a master plan for primary and secondary education; To provide tools for equitable and quality education for all school-age children, including those with special needs; To design a master training program for teachers in primary and secondary education; To provide tools and guidelines for curricular development; To advance teaching methods for specific subjects-matters (science, language, etc.), as well as interdisciplinary subject areas; To provide guidelines for establishing pedagogical resource centers, regionally and locally, for teacher training and support; To train and advance school principals and empower them in sustaining their teachers and promoting their schools.

TRAINING TEACHERS IN INDIGENOUS AREAS

Education does not reach all. In many developing countries, poverty, geographical isolation, gender, ethnicity and language are obstacles to overcome on the path to education. One way of tackling these challenges is by increasing the number and quality of teachers in marginalized and disadvantaged communities. To meet this challenge, a special program was designed geared towards training teachers in indigenous areas.

The program's main objectives are to expose educational personnel from marginalized communities to the newest educational trends and methodologies, and to create a multiplying effect through the training the trainers approach.

Topics include: Developing a master plan for primary and secondary education in indigenous communities; Providing tools for equitable and quality education for all school-age children, including those with special needs; Creating tools and guidelines for curricular development; Educating the educators on teaching methods for specific subjects-matters (such as science, language, etc.), as well as for interdisciplinary subject areas; Providing guidelines for establishing pedagogical resource centers, regionally and locally, to use for teacher training and support; Enabling participants to choose the methods and tools suitable to the particular needs of their environments; Preparing a base for future teacher training activities according to the needs of the different countries and institutions.

All professional programs and models can be adapted to regional, national and local development strategies, Additional details are readily available upon request.