Tradition vs. Innovation: Addressing the Needs of Pupils with Learning Disabilities in the Arab Society in Israel

By Anat Raviv.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper sheds light on a common phenomenon in traditional societies, which includes repressing and ignoring the difficulties and special needs of individuals in these societies. The Arab world is currently in a dead end, a social-structural trap that is based on hierarchy and tradition. This is a "vicious circle" based on a traditional social structure that creates difficulties in coping with changes that involve interruption of the old order. The present study was conducted among a sample of parents, teachers and principals in the Arab sector in the State of Israel and it highlights the socio-cultural difficulties resulting from traditional and social aspects, in addition to the physical and professional difficulties of the teachers. The study combines quantitative tools, indicating the intensity of the phenomenon, with qualitative tools, which convey the authentic voice of headmasters, teachers, parents and pupils from the Arab sector in Israel. The study findings prove that traditional and cultural aspects have a decisive influence on patterns of treatment and on addressing the needs of learning disabled pupils in regular education settings. From the methodological aspect, this study exemplifies the unique contribution of combining the qualitative and quantitative approaches to a deeper understanding of the researched phenomenon. The quantitative has allowed reaching generalizations about the teachers' attitudes while the qualitative approach allows understanding of the socio-cultural aspects leading to these attitudes. The study is an innovation in terms of exploring the phenomenon while giving voice to the participants on this complicated and painful issue.

Keywords: Traditional Societies, Socio-cultural Difficulties, Disabled Pupils

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp.113-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.424KB).

Dr. Anat Raviv

Lecturer, Education Department, Tel-Hai Academic College, Haifa, Israel, Israel

Education: 1984-1987 Haifa University: BA in the History of Art, General BA (Education and Social Work). 1995-1996 Clark University, Boston: M.Sc. in communication, majoring in interpersonal communication and conflict resolution, communication in education. 2000-2004 Anglia Polytechnic University: PhD in Education. Dr. Anat Raviv serves as a lecturer at Tel-Hai Academic College at the education department and also as a freelance lecturer for the Ministry of Education in the field of in service teacher's continuing education program expert in teaching/learning and evaluation strategies. Dr. Anat Raviv is the general manager of Revivm Ltd, a company that instructs and develops teachers and principles in the education system in Israel. Research areas: teaching and learning strategies, classroom instruction and interaction, cooperative learning, formative assessment methods, projects evaluation, developing in school holistic evaluation programs. Dr. Anat Raviv was nominated as an expert of teaching/learning and evaluation strategies, designing curricula for the Israeli ministry of education in 2003, working as an expert adviser in these subjects at some teacher's centres.