The research question at the core of this paper concerns how teachers in elite Israeli high schools explain their educational work in this context, given its central role in establishing and perpetuating privilege in the current polarised era. To answer this question, we conducted 28 interviews with teachers from three elite high schools in Israel. The findings reveal three ways teachers justified their educational work in elite schools: cultivating the ‘serving elite’, helping shape elite students' leftist political orientation and future voting behaviour (emphasising the idea that political leftism serves as a mitigating force against the excesses of plutocracy) and fulfilling elite children's right to a level of education commensurate with their ability. The discussion problematises these justifications by highlighting their features, which, in turn, contribute to a complex understanding of how privilege functions and how advantages and inequality are produced and perpetuated in exclusive and exclusionary elite spaces.
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© 2024 British Educational Research Association.
- elite schools
- socioeconomic status
ASJC Scopus subject areas