For many years, Hand in Hand has been developing bilingual, multicultural and values-based curricula in a variety of core subjects. Our Education Department, teaching staff, and pedagogic advisors, have worked tirelessly to create these curricula in order to fill a void and address our school’s needs, as previously, these types of educational materials have not existed.
Hand in Hand has therefore become a recognized leader and expert in the field of multicultural and bilingual curricula. Government officials and local and national educators regularly visit our schools and are eager to learn more about our bilingual and multicultural educational model. An increasing number of municipalities are recognizing the growing need for multicultural pedagogical content and practices in public schools.
To meet this growing need, we have established a Shared Society Educational Resource Center. Over the past several years, we have codified and standardized our bilingual and multicultural curricula for preschool through grade 5 in order to meet the needs of our growing network of schools. These materials have also been made available to the entirety of the public school system through the Ministry of Education’s online portal.
We have already completed our Arabic as a second language curriculum, which emphasizes spoken Arabic, and our shared holidays curriculum, for grades preschool through grade 2. As we form partnerships with local municipalities and incorporate education for shared living into the curriculum of more and more public schools, we will be advancing a system-wide change—one that we believe will reduce prejudice and fear among children, bring multiculturalism into a wide array of public schools, strengthen students’ identities, and nurture openness and compassion among students.
We also plan to make our expertise available to colleges and universities that train teachers, exposing them to Hand in Hand’s model, pedagogical approach and multicultural curricula and providing them with tools to incorporate multicultural values into their classrooms. This process has already begun with a course launched several years ago, “Bilingual and Multicultural Education – Hand in Hand’s Approach,” for 15 education students in the teacher certificate program at Hebrew University.