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A Proposal to Revamp Schooling for the 21st Century

The expert committee, chaired by Prof. (Emeritus) Menahem Yaari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was created at the beginning of 2011 in response to a request by the director-general of the Ministry of Education. The committee published the report summarizing its work in winter 2014: Educating for a Society of Culture and Knowledge: 21st Century Changes and their Educational Implications

The committee addressed adaptation of the teaching-learning system in the State of Israel to the conditions and demands that will govern the practice of education in the next generation.

Educational practice around the world and in Israel is a multi-faceted and multi-featured entity. In previous generations, the “classic” component associated with educational practice as a whole was "teaching," while its counterpart on the receiving end was obviously, "learning." Over time, additional components were identified such as instilling values, proper conduct and so on, but teaching and learning still remained at the center of educational practice.
During the past century, teaching and learning processes have become a topic of evidence-based scientific research and examination. One of the areas warranting research and examination is the issue of adapting teaching – and in its wake, learning – to the ever-changing environment in which it takes place. It is clear that with respect to the generation now joining the population of education consumers, the characteristics of the environment in which they will be educated stand in great contrast to those of previous generations. In the spotlight are developmental, social, environmental, technological, and even political characteristics. The needs the education system will be required to meet are also different than in the past. It is only fitting that a system responsible for teaching and learning take the initial step and prepare to address these changes.
Against this background, Dr. Shimshon Shoshani, the Ministry of Education's director general, turned to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities' Initiative for Applied Education Research with a request that it establish an expert committee to examine evidence-based research on this topic. As mentioned above, the committee was active from 2011 to 2014 and its findings and recommendations are now at the disposal of those engaged in adapting the education system in Israel to the challenges of the next generation.

Ms. Ofra Brandes served as committee coordinator until December 2012; Dr. Emanuel Strauss assumed committee coordination in January 2013.



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