When Politics Drive Program Innovation

Judith Zamir, Khaled Al-Sayed, Ibrahim Elbadour, Saleem Abu Jaber


This article presents a discussion of the evaluation of an educational intervention introduced by the Ministry of
Education in response to social and political pressure. The social protest that started in Israel during the summer
of 2011 addressed a variety of social issues, lasted through 2016 and led to the Ministry of Education decision to
open a new training programme for teachers. One of the aims of the intervention was to provide an additional
adult in classrooms of more than 32 pupils. To meet this goal, the Ministry required third-year student teachers to
work at schools co-teaching with the classroom teacher three days a week. Twenty-five institutions of higher
learning representing 81 cities and communities responded “yes” to the call for a pilot programme. Using mixed
methods, the evaluation of the pilot was attentive to the voices of all participants and revealed the complexity of
the programme. The conclusions and suggestions of the evaluation were supposed to feed into a policy decision,
but unfortunately did not. Through a presentation of the evaluation of the programme and the issues it raised, the
article contributes a significant example of how political constraints prevent institutions from dealing with
evaluation conclusions and unintended outcomes of programs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20849/jed.v2i2.412


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Journal of Education and Development  ISSN 2529-7996 (Print)  ISSN 2591-7250 (Online)

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