Segregated but Equal? the Case of (Dis)integration in the Israeli Early Education System and its Effect on the Arab Minority Population in Israel

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The Israeli early education system presents an interesting and challenging case for the discussion on migration and integration in early education systems. First, Israel is unique in that most of its majority population, i.e., the Jewish population, migrated into the country over the last century whereas its minority population, i.e., the Arab-Muslim population, are the descendants of people who have inhibited the country for centuries and were the majority until about 70 years ago. Second, besides a few isolated attempts, there is no integration between Israeli Arab-Muslim and Israeli Jewish children until university level education and most Israeli children, particularly in the early years, study in segregated, highly homogeneous schools. Within this challenging context, I will focus my discussion on two questions: (1) is equality possible within this segregated system? and, (2) are the traditions of the minority group being respected and maintained within this system? My theses is that whereas equality is the official policy in the system, there are immense differences in the quality of Arab and Jewish early education systems that put into question the level of this equality. In addition, whereas segregated systems certainly help maintain the traditions of a particular culture, they also prevent reciprocal interaction between cultures and deepen suspicion and dislike, which seems to be dominant in Israel today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration, Religion and Early Childhood Education
EditorsEdnan Aslan
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-29809-8
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2020


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