In Israel, public school systems have largely been controlled by the local government, and every student follows a preset learning curriculum. In comparison to the North American and European schooling systems, uniform learning materials are provided for all students. However, schools are also given the option to choose from various teaching materials, all of which have already been provided by Israel’s Ministry of Education.
Today, a new form of schooling called democratic schooling is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, including in Israel. With democratic schooling, the students have a larger say in their learning experience. With democratic schooling, students can give their input on how they want to learn, and how they would like the school to be run. By providing the students with this amount of influence in the school, the goal is to get them more engaged with their education and learning.
Currently, there are just over 25 democratic schools located in Israel, which is just behind Germany and the US in regards to having the most democratic schools internationally. One of the primary benefits of democratic schools is that the child can focus on their favorite subjects, but this could also lead to them missing out on important lessons from subjects they may not be very keen on – which are often mathematics, grammar, and writing. Fortunately, with the use of the internet, students can now use a writing service to help them with assignments they are having difficulty with. Those that promote and encourage democratic schools often claim that by removing many of the rules and restrictions of the traditional school, the students are provided with the opportunity to grow up and to make decisions for themselves. While democratic schools are still fairly new, it will take additional time for the majority of parents and guardians to become comfortable with this new and perhaps radical way of schooling.
An interesting fact to people who do not live in Israel is that most schools in Israel are segregated by both race and religion. For example, there are secular schools which offer a state-education curriculum in Hebrew which is determined by the Ministry of Education. On the other hand, Orthodox schools offer state-religious education in Hebrew, and additional time is committed to learning both religion and Jewish culture. Lastly, Arab schools teach the state’s curriculum in the Arabic language and have a larger focus on covering Arab history, culture, and beliefs. Progressive schools such as Montessori, Democratic (previously mentioned), and Waldorf are all part of the national schooling system too. They are also funded by the Israeli government on a per-pupil basis. This method of funding is considered to be an innovative way for a government to fund education.
In conclusion, despite Israel’s education system being tailor-made for the Israeli culture and geographic region, it has a variety of similarities and contrasts with the North American and European education systems.