Civics education requires more than just cursory knowledge of governmental institutions and the legislative process. Being citizens of the Jewish nation-state necessitates an understanding of our national past, the reasons we are here, and our joint vision as citizens of the State. The high school civics curriculum touches upon core issues and strategic topics; but beyond the task of developing the conceptual and theoretical framework of the subject, the curriculum should foster students’ identity as people and as citizens.
In 2012, recognizing the strategic and educational importance of civics and history education in Israel, the JSC established the Civics and History Education Institute. Geared toward teachers, the Institute engages with core issues in the curricula which teachers and students wish to discuss and learn about in greater depth. Within this framework, we have developed educational content to deepen and broaden teachers’ knowledge base as well as the philosophical infrastructure and research-based aids for civics educators.
The Civics and History Education Institute operates in two spheres: producing supplementary educational materials for teachers, and developing academic courses for students of education. Thus far the Institute has produced five teacher manuals, which include lesson plans and enable teachers to broaden their knowledge of the subject matter and enrich classroom discussion.
In collaboration with Orot Yisrael Teachers’ College, the Institute has produced two online courses for students of education. The courses were first offered last year, and this year two more courses have been added.
Click here to see the manuals produced to date.