Our Participants began their second week

A Walnut Tree

As a little girl, my grandmother loved to grab her heavy textbooks and climb on the top of the walnut tree to study her favorite subjects. During the Second World War, in a small village of West Georgia, spending time on education was needless extravagance, since all people could think was - to survive. However, a 10 year old was so thirsty to study, she kept doing it, changing trees, trying to find new hideaways close to home. With father at war, she also had to do a lot of housework to help her family.

 

To enjoy learning we don’t have to climb trees and mountains today. We are concerned with access to learning to be possible to all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic or social class, age, language, religion, location or disabilities.

Learning aids and materials created using mobile tools are becoming an important part of education. Augmented Reality with audio, video, text and image overlays makes learning interesting and fun. At Beit - Berl College yesterday, we’ve experienced and discussed how mobile technologies influence knowledge thirsty students seeking flexible access to education and we realized, that this century will change the paradigm of learning for good.  However, no matter how in the future technological advances influence teaching and learning, for me, the walnut tree will remain a symbol of creative enquiry and desire to learn.  

Multicultural Education: Breaking Barriers, Learning More

Education could be more meaningful and effective in a multi-cultural setting. There is a need to transcend boundaries as we respond to the challenges and opportunities of globalization. 

Universities, particularly those in developing countries, have been working towards internationalization of higher education —     ensuring that their facilities, curriculum, and even their faculty are at par with the best of the world. These universities should remember that as we link with the rest of the world, we also connect to different cultures. We may have to deal with conflicting views and perspectives. A multi-cultural approach to teaching and learning must thus be adopted.

MASHAV training on new pedagogies for higher education teachers is an excellent example of multicultural education. We learn from the sharing of experiences of participants and resource speakers from various countries who carry with them their own unique cultures. We are exposed to similarities and differences, and we realize that there can be unity in diversity as we work towards one common goal: To improve education

From Elite to Mass Education

When diversity is mentioned in our learning environment what comes to our mind first are the different nationalities represented and the language barrier that would be there, but how about diversity in the learning capacities. How did it feel not to hear? How about those who had the dark eye shades? and the crayons that could hardly scribble anything? some may not be in the minority group but are emotionally unstable, how do we respond to these need as educators? The small demonstration during the workshop yesterday spoke volumes of the isolation faced by the minorities and how this affects the effective learning process. 

We as educators need to have a third eye that not only see and hear but also feels. It is teachers’ job to help these people to become full members of the society; to maintain more than one way of giving knowledge, to combine different methods of assessment, to move barriers.  How do we change attitude? It is not only knowledge but we have to feel it how to be a person with disability. We are all equal. The term “all students” includes students who are college-bound, career-bound, academically talented, those whose native language is not English, those with disabilities, students with learning deficits, and students from diverse socioeconomic (disadvantaged or advantaged) backgrounds. 

Significant Learning

At the end of the day, the week or the course the question we must ask ourselves is what have we learned. Because even though our beliefs, our origins, our skin color or our language are different, we all came here to learn and contribute even if it is a grain of sand in the educational paradigm of our countries. Yesterday in front of the majesty of the sea of Galilee we join in a brotherly hug. In front of us the table was served! Much historical and archaeological information was presented to us without influencing our beliefs. That’s the approach that we must do with our students ... let know a sea of knowledge that they can access from a spiritual or agnostic perspective , promoting a SIGNIFICANT LEARNING, as Jesus was with his disciples.



© All Rights Reserved