Teacher Autonomy Within a Flexible National Curriculum: Development of Shoah (Holocaust) Education in Israeli State Schools

September 1, 2015

Source: Journal of Curriculum Studies 


This article considers the role of teacher agency and curricular flexibility as pedagogic features of Shoah education in Israeli state schools. The analysis is based on a recent national study which included a quantitative survey (questionnaires), qualitative methods (focus groups, interviews, observations) and a socio-historical review. As teaching of this subject has expanded in both religious and general streams of the Hebrew-language state school system, it has been addressed in diverse ways in terms of method, materials and content.


Loosely defined requirements enable educators to be active agents in individualizing the curriculum. It is proposed that this is beneficial when addressing an inherently sensitive subject that is tied to teachers’ and students’ sense of identity and worldview. Implications of a new national curriculum for Shoah education are discussed. Relevance of teacher agency in Shoah education in other settings is considered.

Updated: Sep. 21, 2015