07 SES 07 A, Displaced, Minority and Recently Immigrated Teachers
Kymlicka (1995; 2002) distinguishes between three types of minority groups according to their origin and the claims they make with respect to the majority group: national minority, immigrant minority and indigenous minority. National minorities strive to preserve their uniqueness alongside the dominant culture and demand some form of autonomy as a separate society. Immigrants wish to integrate into the wider society, but also to shape the institutions and laws of the state to suit their cultural characteristics, which differ from those of the dominant majority. Finally, indigenous minorities have been conquered by a cultural community or have been annexed by political changes involving border changes or colonialist processes.
There is a basic tension between various narratives for the establishment of the State of Israel: from the point of view of the Jewish majority, Israel was established as the realization of the Jewish people's right to self-determination in its homeland, and aspires to the ingathering of the exiles. From the Palestinian minority's point of view, Israel's establishment is associated with feelings of historical injustice, exclusion and alienation from the identity of the Jewish state. According to Kymlicka's (2002) distinctions, immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Israel can be seen as a minority group of immigrants, while Israeli Arabs are simultaneously a national and an indigenous minority group.
Arab teachers in Israel- A national and indigenous minority
Research on Arab education in Israel shows a low investment of material resources compared with Jewish education (Harbon, Abu Asbah & Abu Nasra, 2013). Arab education still suffers from a significant lack of budgets and other serious systemic deficiencies related to national content and inappropriate representation in planning, supervision and management positions (Addi-Raccach, 2006). In addition, the Jewish system is in a superior authoritative position in relation to the Arab educational system controlling the curricula, resources, and appointments (Harboun, Abu-Asbeh & Abu-Nasra, 2013; Shapira, Arar & Azaiza, 2010).
Russian teachers in Israel- An immigrant minority
Between 1989 and 2006, about 1.6 million people emigrated from the former Soviet Union to Israel constituting an increase of about 20% in its Jewish population. The immigration was treated as a national goal, but despite Israel's declared policy of integration, Russian-speaking teachers have often received the message that they should abandon the Russian language in school and stick to Hebrew (Putjata, 2018). This attitude contrasted with the pride many immigrants felt in the Russian language and culture (Epstein & Kheimets, 2000). Pride in Russian culture led to the establishment of schools associated with the Russian community in Israel (Epstein & Kheimets, 2000), as has happened elsewhere in the world (Asanova, 2005).
Sense of belonging/ otherness
The need to belong is a basic human motivation (Leary & Baumeister, 2000) and teachers' sense of belonging to the school they teach in is no exception. Studies of student teachers have found that a sense of belonging to the social and institutional context contributes to the development of their new professional identity (Williams, Ritter & Bullock, 2012). In a study of 2569 teachers in Norway, teachers' sense of belonging was a mediating variable that predicted job satisfaction. (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011).
In this study, we examined teachers' sense of belonging/otherness with respect to socio-demographic variables and systemic variables with emphasis on different minority groups. The socio-demographic variables included first language (L1), level of religiosity, level of education and gender. The systemic variables included seniority, degree of heterogeneity of the training institution, discipline taught, homeroom teacher (yes/no) and educational track.
Sense of belonging / otherness among teachers in Israel who do not speak Hebrew as a native language
In order to examine the research question, a questionnaire was constructed consisting of 16 questions, of which 13 were demographic questions and 3 were additional questions. The first relates to the level of religiosity of the subjects on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘not religious’ to ‘very religious’. Another question related to the heterogeneity of the training institution on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘very homogenous’ to ‘very heterogeneous’. Finally, subjects were asked about a sense of belonging / other in the teachers' room. Those who indicated that they did not belong to any of the groups mentioned in the questionnaire were defined as having a sense of belonging. Those who indicated their belonging to one of the groups (for example, teachers of Russian origin in a room of teachers of veteran Israelis) were defined as having a sense of otherness. The questionnaires were sent via the Internet to the mailing list and were answered voluntarily and anonymously. The data were transferred to SPSS version 21 and analyzed with its help. The study population included some 60,000 teachers in secondary education from all streams and districts. The sample included 1197 valid questionnaires 829 (70%) men and 362 (30%) women, 961 (80%) spoke Hebrew as their first language (L1), for 129 (11%) Arabic was L1 and for 42 (4%) Russian was L1. The average years of seniority in the sample population was 17.86, with a standard deviation of 11.43. The average age is 46.42 years with a standard deviation of 10.55.
Socio-demographic variables had a much stronger connection to sense of belonging/otherness than systemic variables. In particular, there was a strong correlation between sense of belonging/otherness and L1, with about 90% of teachers whose L1 was Hebrew reporting a sense of belonging compared with only 12% of the teachers whose L1 was Arabic and 21% of teachers whose L1 was Russian. Other socio-demographic variables that were found to have an association with sense of belonging were gender and level of religiosity. Most of the systemic variables were not found to be associated with sense of belonging/otherness except for 'discipline taught'. A lower proportion of computer science and exact sciences teachers indicated a sense of belonging compared with teachers from other disciplines. These findings represent two of the rifts in Israeli society: the national rift between Jews and Arabs and the rift between immigrants and veterans. The findings point to the inability of the education system to provide teachers with a sense of belonging or to mitigate their sense of otherness vis-à-vis the basic status of teachers who do not speak Hebrew as L1, whether in the context of immigration or on the basis of national differences.
Addi-Raccah, A. (2006). Women in the Israeli educational system. Women principals in a multicultural society, 49-70. Asanova, J. (2005). Educational experiences of immigrant students from the former Soviet Union: A case study of an ethnic school in Toronto. Educational studies, 31(2), 181-195. Epstein, A. D., & Kheimets, N. G. (2000). Cultural clash and educational diversity: Immigrant teachers' efforts to rescue the education of immigrant children in Israel. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 10(2), 191-210. Harboun I., Abu- Asbeh, K. & Abu-Nasra, M. (2013). Arab Education in Israel: A Claim to Material Resources or an Ideological Struggle? 14 (2), Israeli Sociology, 14 (2), 289-311 Kymlicka, W. (1995). Multicultural citizenship: A liberal theory of minority rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Kymlicka, W (2002). Contemporary political philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Leary, M. R., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). The nature and function of self-esteem: Sociometer theory. In Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 32, pp. 1-62). Academic Press. Putjata, G. (2018). Immigrant teachers’ integration and transformation of the linguistic market in Israel. Language and Education, 1-17. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2011). Teacher job satisfaction and motivation to leave the teaching profession: Relations with school context, feeling of belonging, and emotional exhaustion. Teaching and teacher education, 27(6), 1029-1038. Shapira, T., Arar, K., & Azaiza, F. (2010). Arab women principals' empowerment and leadership in Israel. Journal of educational administration, 48(6), 704-715. Williams, J., Ritter, J., & Bullock, S. M. (2012). Understanding the complexity of becoming a teacher educator: Experience, belonging, and practice within a professional learning community. Studying Teacher Education, 8(3), 245-260.
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