Inas Deeb Awarded Matanel Prize for Education

Dr. Inas Deeb, Hand in Hand's director of educational programs, has been awarded the newly created Matanel Prize for Education.

Awarded by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute  and the Matanel Foundation for the first time in 2013, the prize honors an individual who successfully combines educational theory with practical experience in the field of education in Israel. 

Dr. Deeb was honored for advancing the field of integrated, bilingual education. Her research and its applications have improved an educational framework that reduces racism and fosters authentic coexistence between ethnic groups. 

Dr. Deeb's research included kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grade students from Arab-only schools, Jewish-only schools and integrated schools. "What are the implications of these findings?" she asked in her acceptance speech.  "How are we supposed to teach our children? Do we teach them that Arabs, Jews, Ethiopians, Russians and so forth are all different? Or do we only talk about how we are all the same? 

"The answer is: We educate them about difference, and only through doing so, can we teach them about how we are all fundamentally the same as human beings," she said. "Making children aware of, rather than blind to, ethnic diversity can be good. The fact that these results were obtained in the particular political context surrounding these children is even more encouraging."

Read Dr. Deeb's speech in its entirety. 

A June article in Haaretz's weekend magazine, "Are We Born Racist? A New Israeli Study Has Some Suprising Answers," refers extensively to Dr. Deeb's research (without mentioning her by name). Detailed findings about children's innate steroetypes and perceptions about ethnicity, and about how these shift given their environments and educations, illustrate the importance and profound impact of integrated, bilingual education. 

 "This article shows how critical the Hand in Hand model is in changing stereotypical thinking and its more negative offshoots," said Rebecca Bardach, Hand in Hand director of resource development and strategy.  "Secondly, it shows how our work is entering into the broader discourse in Israel in various ways, this being one of them."

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