Masar Institute for Education
P.O.B. 3201,Nazareth,1613, Israel
Masar School, which has been founded by the Masar Institute for Education in 1998, is the first comprehensive and regional alternative school for the Palestinian community in Israel. At Masar School we are developing an educational model that builds self-confident, critically thinking individuals who are proud of their identity but embrace difference and are able to deal with conflicts through dialogue. At Masar School, education includes knowledge, skills and values gained through holistic teaching methods, social interaction, and community involvement.
Masar School offers education from children aged 5 (pre-school) till the High School exam. Beside the curricular activities, Masar offers a wide range of activities such as music classes, dance, modern dance, chess, drama, sports and art. Education in Masar is based on dialogue; there are no marks or exams. Our school is supposed to be a home for our students; this is why we have only one class per level and a max. of 24 students in each class. Compared with the German educational frameworks, Masar could be described as a „reformpaedagogische Gesamtschule mit Abitur“.
Masar School is located in the city of Nazareth, close to the city centre, on a hill beside the „Nazareth Village“. Nazareth is the biggest Arab town in Israel, on the route between Haifa and Tiberias. Beside the obvious religious tourist sights, Nazareth offers an insight into some „oriental“ life in modern times. It is today the cultural, political and intellectual heart for Palestinians in Israel. Nazarenes are known for their hospitality and their great kitchen! The city itself has about 70.000 inhabitants.
Masar’s students are all members of the Palestinian minority living in Israel with Israeli citizenship. They are both Muslim and Christian, so are the teachers. Masar is one of the few secular schools in Israel, and not affiliated with any religious party whatsoever. At our school, we put an emphasis on teaching in dialogical ways and not just tolerating, but embracing differences as an opportunity for new experiences and learning.
Masar Institute for Education (Masar means “process” in Arabic) is a non governmental, non profit organization founded in 1996. At Masar we are committed to social change and community development through a long process of innovative education. The development of a new vision in education through our practices in our flag ship project Masar school, is the engine of a wider strategy structured from interrelated different spheres of work: Capacity-building of educators in the Palestinian community in Israel focusing on alternative educational skills; research that aims to cultivate our new knowledge into replicable models; triggering systemic change in Israeli institutions by creating new traditions of work, and community outreach such as networking and consultancy. The combined efforts of our work within these different spheres create a comprehensive strategy that empowers our community and moves it away from the margins into the center of dialogue on innovations in education as a way of social change.
Masar is creating an innovative educational vision through investigating new and alternative practices and approaches in Masar School. These practices aim at students, parents, teachers, key persons and institutions. Masar focuses its attention on reversing social exclusion that stems from the implicit modes reflected in curriculum content and the structure of the educational environment, both considered means of social control, in opposite to many other educational NGO’s and other civil society institutions that tackle the explicit exclusion of the Arab community inherent within the conventional education system and reflected basically by the discrimination in resources distribution.