A New Educational Approach (SAME) to Multicultural Encounters
Co-Existence Project between Arab and Jewish Students in a Teacher Training College in Israel
Miriam Schildkraut [BIO] and Mueen Fakhereldeen [BIO] (Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The following presentation pertains to the strategies of facilitation implemented in the Co-Existence project between Arab and Jewish students in the Kaye Academic Teacher Training College in Israel.
The project aims at creating a meaningful encounter between the participants of the two national groups, who otherwise hardly have any relationships with students from the other side. A major objective is to reduce the stereotypical perception of each other, as well as to deepen the acquaintance and understanding of the cultural codes of the other group.
All the activity is based on the assumption that in order to be able to handle conflictual issues successfully, the members of the two groups should first develop patterns of dialogue which go all the way through establishing sound personal relations prior to opening conflictual matters.
Traditionally, there are two approaches to dealing with multiculturalism, especially when there is a national conflict in the center. One stresses the conflictual aspects of the encounter. (Brown, 1988, Hewstone and Brown1986). The other is dynamic, and ignores many of the cultural and national differences in favor of developing personal contacts among the participants. (Shalif 2005), (Brewer 1991, Brewer and Miller 1984).
The following presentation relates to a synthesis between the two classic approaches. (hence: SAME – Synthetic Approach to Multicultural Encounters).
The rationale for this approach is double: first, it acknowledges the fact that each person carries two identities: one personal and another social. (Tajfel, 1982). Our starting point is the ultimate need to preserve both of these identities. (Brewer 1991).
The other rationale is based on the experience which shows that the more a multicultural group develops a common language and a sense of unity among its participants in the first part of the workshop, the greater its capacity to cope with harsh controversies and bitter arguments later.