Activity type: Consensus Committee
Activity coordinator: Ph.D Nirit Topol
Activity period: Active group - From 2019
The question which values are important for schools to teachis
an ideological and culture-dependent question; however, the desire and
responsibility to educate for values is at the core of the Israeli education
society, education for values has been considered one of the overarching goals
of the education system since its inception. Section 2 of the
State Education Law 5713-1953 lists the aims of state education and reserves
a significant place for values education: “To instill the principles described
in The Declaration
of the Establishment of the State of Israel and the values of the State of
Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and to develop respect for human
rights, basic freedoms, democratic values, upholding the law, the culture and
worldviews of others, and to educate for the pursuit of peace and tolerance between
human beings and nations.”
Coping with the changes
in modern lifestyles and the deepening socio-cultural rifts in Israeli society underscores
the pressing need for values education. Educating students for values will
enable students to be good people and citizens, to live fully and ethically,
and to work for the betterment of society.
The Ministry of
Education’s multi-year plan expresses the importance of education for values in
two of the four objectives
of education: Objective A: “Promotion of meaningful and quality learning:
knowledge, skills and values”; and Objective B, which is entirely dedicated to
values: “Values education in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.”
This objective also includes four main school goals: values education; social
involvement; optimal classroom climate; and, tolerance and cultural competence.
It is important
to note that the Ministry of Education (MOE) both acknowledges and welcomes the
ideological diversity among the various communities in Israeli society (as well
as between parents within the same community). The MOE has no intention of
imposing a uniform program of values education for every student and every
educational institution. At the same time, however, educational institutions are
expected to conform to the State Education Law.
The founding of
the expert committee was driven by the recognition that education for values is
just as important as the study of any other subject. Moreover, it is important
that learning be accompanied by valid and reliable measurement and evaluation
processes which also include measurement of academic achievements and school
climate. Measurement and evaluation are a central pillar in the professionalization
and accountability of systems and individuals. Thus, despite the risks involved
in measurement and evaluation processes, including the occasionally misguided or
erroneous use of data and information, it is agreed that the absence of
measurement, or poor measurement, is a major obstacle to the ability of
organizations and individuals to improve themselves. As such, the MOE, as both the
initiator of educational curricula and the body supervising their
implementation, is required to constantly demonstrate responsible and careful
thinking on this topic.
In order to do
so, the MOE requires access to a compendium of the knowledge developing in the
field around the world, as well as of the experience accumulated in Israel.
Such knowledge can assist decision-makers at headquarters and in the field, can
serve as a basis for development and integration of measurement tools and evaluation
processes, and will stimulate public discourse on the topic. Towards this end, The
Yozma – Center for Knowledge and Research in Education established an expert
(consensus) committee chaired by Professor Chanan Alexander. The committee was
created following a request made by the MOE’s chief scientist to the Israel
Academy of Sciences, and is operating with the support and encouragement of Yad
course of its work, the committee will raise key topics and questions, gather
and analyze critically-appraised research knowledge from Israel and abroad, and
will learn from the experience of professionals and academicians. Upon
completion of the learning process, the committee will publish a final report
which will include its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for future
policy. Publication of the final report is planned for fall 2021, and a
workshop in which the committee’s findings and conclusions will be presented is
expected to take place in summer 2021.
will work in collaboration with two additional committees currently active within
The Yozma, and whose areas of endeavor overlap: The
Committee to Adapt Curricula and Learning Materials for the 21st Century,
Committee for Social and Emotional Skills Cultivation in the Education System.
will also be assisted by the products of two earlier expert committees: The
committee on Revising
the System of Education Indicators in Israel, chaired by Professor M.
Justman, and the expert committee which studied the topic of A
Proposal to Revamp Schooling for the 21st Century, chaired by
Professor M. Yaari. The former pointed to the fact that the MOE’s system of measurement
and evaluation was richer in areas related to academic achievements and school
climate than in the area of values education. The latter committee delineated values-related
topics important to shared existence in Israel. The Education for Values
Committee will complete the important work of its predecessors and use their
recommendations as a foundation.
topics the committee will address are:
- How are values typically
defined, interpreted, measured and evaluated in research conducted in other
countries? What are the main methodologies used in these fields?
- What is known about the
validity, reliability, authenticity, fairness and effectiveness of measurement
and evaluation methods in the field of values education?
- What are the proper uses of
values education measurement and evaluation data, and how can the findings be
used as an opportunity for deep processes in a range of educational frameworks?
- What are the main
educational, pedagogical, emotional and ethical challenges in measurement and evaluation
in this area, and how may they be addressed?