Promoting politically contested change by invisible education policies: the case of ultra-Orthodox public schools in Israel

Shai Katzir, Lotem Perry-Hazan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Education policies are typically anchored in official texts that provide a foundation for their enactment in schools. What are the implications of an invisible policy not anchored in any official text due to political motives? This study explores the enactment of an invisible education policy that regulates religious enclave schools. These schools’ curricula are the source of frequent conflict between states and religious enclave communities. The study draws on the case of the National Haredi Education (NHE) reform in Israel that enabled ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) private schools in Israel to affiliate with a new stream of public schools whose regulations were not anchored in any official text. The data comprised interviews with principals, teachers, and supervisors, as well as document analysis. The findings showed that the enactment of the NHE policy was primarily manifested in invisible changes, such as teacher professionalisation and pupil assessment. Curricular changes visible to the wider school community were enacted differently in different schools. Our findings also characterised the implications of the NHE policy’s invisibility. The lack of institutional recognition hindered the reform, but the autonomy of the implementing agents enabled them to promote changes within their purview and become policy entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOxford Review of Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Haredi education
  • Invisible education policy
  • education policy enactment
  • public education
  • religious enclave schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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