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Title: In need of a new story : writing, teaching and learning history in mandatory Palestine
Author: Furas, Jonathan Haim
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 7635
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This study looks at history teaching as a reflection of the circumstances and interests that shaped the nature of Palestinian society, Arab and Jewish, in mandate Palestine. It examines the pedagogical and political roots of educational segregation between Arabs and Jews, tracing the causes that turned it into an impervious practice and explores the engagement of both communities with the education of the national other and the reciprocal influence of this engagement on both education systems. The thesis examines the sociology of particularly Arab, but also Hebrew knowledge, focusing on who wrote history textbooks and why, what were the cultural and intellectual influences involved in this process, and how was history instrumentalised for the creation of a new identity, shedding light on the conscious or unconscious manner in which colonial historiographic paradigms wrote themselves into these textbooks. The juxtaposition of Arabic and Hebrew textbooks underlines the centrality of the conflict in moulding exclusive notions of collectivity and territoriality through the narration of the past. The second part of the project discusses the institutionalisation of this historiography into an educational policy, through curricula, syllabi and exams. I focus on the colonial logic behind this policy, highlighting its inconsistent educational rationale. By analysing the pedagogic discourse of Arab educators and essays written by students, I argue that a growing community of educators and students countered the British policy, seeking to make sense and find an authentic voice within the contours of colonial reality. The thesis concludes with an examination of the teaching of history beyond the history course, analysing the omnipresence of history in the students' lives and their interpretation of it, underlying the differences between the Arab and Hebrew communities in their ability to disseminate a shared, historical consciousness. This analysis of Arabic and Hebrew sources discloses the uncanny resemblance between the production of historical education in both communities, which nonetheless contributed in both cases to driving them apart rather than opening any space for commonality.
Supervisor: McDougall, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History--Study and teaching--Palestine ; Education--Palestine ; Education and state--Palestine ; Palestine--Ethnic relations ; Palestine--Social conditions ; Palestine--Politics and government--1948-