Parental Involvement in the Arab and Jewish Educational Systems

  •  Moshe Sharabi    
  •  Gilad Cohen-Ynon    
  •  Marina Soskis    


To date, no comparison has been made between the Arab and Jewish educational systems regarding parental involvement. This preliminary study examines the perceptions about parental involvement as described by the pedagogic staff and compares the two sectors (Jewish vs. Arab as two ethno-religious groups). Staff members from four elementary schools (two Jewish schools and two Arab schools) were interviewed. The findings indicate that parental involvement in the Arab sector is lower than in the Jewish sector. The Arab parents have more respect and trust towards the school, the principal, and the teachers compared to the Jewish parents. This is reflected by lower involvement of the Arab parents in comparison to the Jewish parents. While Jewish parents who volunteer for parents’ associations use their status to promote their personal interest (their child’s benefit) and less desire to contribute to the school, Arab parents volunteer more to help the principals and teachers to get resources from the Mayor/ Head of the municipal council and less for their own child’s benefit. The depth and the type of parental involvement in the Jewish and the Arab educational systems can be explained by cultural differences, namely an individualistic Jewish society vs. a collectivistic Arab society.

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