This project is essential in implementing education for democracy “on the ground”, among students and educational staff. This is a challenging task as school staff are burdened with tasks and operate in an extremely conflicted environment. Through the formation of unique pedagogical hubs in the network’s diverse schools, we hope that the dissemination into the teachers’ room, school and after school activities will be easier and more profound.

Amal schools range from middle schools to high schools that are spread across the country throughout the different demographic groups of Israeli society. Each hub will be led by a dedicated coordinator, who will be reimbursed for more hours through the grant, responsible for assessing the current state of democratic practices and craft a work plan to instill civil education within the school.

The coordinators in each school, with the help of Amal Experts, will create an annual program that includes tailor made study days to engage and commit educators to the process. The core of the process is the teachers. The hub will train teachers with the skills necessary to manage a complex discourse and emphasize their ethical and educational responsibility. The hubs must explain the fundamental role teachers have in the process, to facilitate discussions that would embrace tolerance, complexity, methods to collaborate and debate, and shield against fake news. Armed with skills and innovative pedagogical techniques, teachers will integrate the content into the curriculum and equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for active citizenship.

A special emphasis will be placed on civil engagement, encouraging students to take an active part in social activities in the community. Activities that can be included as part of the democracy hub can be participation in social organizations, civic campaigns or hackathons. At the end of the year, the coordinator will evaluate changes in perceptions by gathering feedback from both teachers and students. The number of democracy hubs across the Amal network is dependent on the budget allocated to the project. Although we will evaluate the success of the project in the end of the first year, we hope that the project will span 3-5 years, in order to make an impact and be used as a model for other schools and networks.