Education, Empowerment, and Control

The Case of the Arabs in Israel

By Majid Al-Haj

Subjects: Comparative Education
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791422021, 249 pages, February 1995
Hardcover : 9780791422014, 249 pages, February 1995

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



Theoretical Framework

· The Positivist Approach

· The Conflict Approach

1 General Background: Demographic, Social, Economic, and Political Aspects

· The Ottoman and the British Mandate Periods

· The Palestinian Arabs after the Establishment of the State of Israel

· Demographic Changes

· Social Change

· Social Localization

· Economic Delocalization

· Political Marginalization

2 Education in the Ottoman and the Mandatory Periods

· The Ottoman Period


The Private School System

· The Mandatory Period

Formal Policy

Hebrew Education

Higher Education

3 Arab Education after the Establishment of Israel: Administrative Issues

· Changes over Time

· The Stand of the Arab Population

· Official Involvement of the Arab Population

· Druze Education

· Bedouin Education

4 Institutions and Pupils

· Major Developments

· Secondary Schools

· Pupils

· Co-education

· Vocational Education

· Private Schools

5 Physical and Educational Facilities

· School Buildings

· Educational Facilities

· Educational Gaps among Arab Localities

· Mixed Cities—The Case of Jaffa

· The Non-Recognized Villages

· Arab Bargaining and Government Response

6 Policy, Goals, and Curricula

· Assimilation versus Segregation

· Goals, Curricula, and Textbooks (1949-1974)

· Curricula Aims


Arabic in Arab Schools

Hebrew in Arab Schools

Hebrew in Hebrew Schools

Arabic in Hebrew Schools


· Restating Goals and Curricula for Arab Schools (1975-1990)

· The New Curricula






7 Teachers and Social Control

· Major Developments

· Teacher's Training

· Women in the Education System

· Status and Conditions

· Teachers and Control

· Military Government

· Jewish Teachers

· Security Classification

· Professional Organization

· Political Organization

· Teachers and Education for Political Involvement

·Democratization of the Arab Schools

8   Higher Education

· Major Developments

· Religion and Educational Attainment

· Employment Situation

· Work Status

· Formal Policy toward the Employment of University Graduates





Education, Empowerment, and Control is about the education of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel from the establishment of the state of Israel to the present. Using a comparative approach, the study throughout juxtaposes Arab and Hebrew educational systems in terms of administration, resources, curricula contents, and returns. Developments in education are analyzed in conjunction with wide demographic, economic, and sociopolitical changes.

Al-Haj explores the expectations of the Palestinian community on the one hand and dominant groups on the other, showing that whereas Palestinians have seen education as a source of empowerment, government groups have seen it as a mechanism of social control. The book also sheds light on the wider issue of education and social change among developing minorities in the postcolonial era. Al-Haj examines modernization, underdevelopment, and control in order to delineate the role education plays among a national minority that is marginalized at the group level and denied access to the national opportunity structure.

Majid Al-Haj is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology and Head of the Center for Educational Research at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Social Change and Family Processes and co-author of Arab Local Government in Israel.


"This is the first and only systematic social science account of contemporary Arab education in Israel that includes details on historical changes along with an evaluation of educational policies and programs. It is presented within a general model of social change in the society as a whole. This a comprehensive and thorough study that is likely to become a classic in the field. " — Calvin Goldscheider, Brown University