The Narrative Study of Immigrants’ and Refugees’ Lives
Dr. Yochay Nadan and Ph.D student Lior Birger will teach a course focusing on narratives of immigrants lives. This course was piloted in the spring semester of 2018 to 20 BA students and will be taught in the spring semester of 2019 to 30 MA students. The course focuses on narratives of immigrants’ and refugees’ lives. Our life story is shaped by the experiences and memories we collect throughout our lifetime. It reflects our personal, family and collective identity, as well as constructs our identity. This course will deal with the exploration of immigrants and refugees’ life stories, as well as the application of these theoretical ideas into narrative social work practice. Our life story is shaped by the experiences and memories we collect throughout our lifetime. It reflects our personal, family and collective identity, as well as constructs our identity. This course will deal with the exploration of immigrants and refugees’ life stories, as well as the application of these theoretical ideas into narrative social work practice.
Contact details: Dr. Yochay Nadan firstname.lastname@example.org; Lior Birger email@example.com
Context-informed encounters in Therapy, Education and Community Interventions
In 2016 Professor Dorit Roer-Strier and Dr. Naomi Shmuel joined forces to create a new academic course. The students were a heterogeneous group of master’s students from various disciplines, primarily from the departments of social work and education. Students are generally used to academic learning based on lectures, academic texts and intellectual exercises in which emotions are rarely directly addressed or meant to be a part of the learning process. As such, many students described this new course as “a total surprise.” Dorit and Naomi used a number of innovative teaching methods to address potentially volatile issues relating to personal and group identity, a sense of belonging, the meaning of ‘home’, social and political topics especially relating to prejudices, minorities, immigrants and refugees. These issues often arouse deep emotions and are potentially explosive in the classroom. And yet students training to work directly with people, such as teachers, educational advisors, psychologists, social and community workers and others, can benefit from confronting and reflecting upon their attitudes and feelings on such issues as part of their professional training in order to function effectively in a multicultural society. The methods used include a workshop with children’s books, photos and films, simulations, personal reflection, group and class discussions. As one student put it: “I found myself opening up to a new kind of learning, my thinking has become much more flexible following this course and now I see things differently.”The course has been taught each year since then, each time adapting to address current issues and new perspectives in creative and thought provoking ways.
This year (2019) Dr. Naomi Shmuel is teaching the course, with guest speakers from the NEVET Greenhouse, and two interactive simulations have been created via the Meser centre for simulations (Haruv Campus). These simulation sessions will be filmed for further use in future courses.
Perspectives of Immigrant Children in Israel 2018/9
Taught by Dr. Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson, this course aims to understand the immigrant experience from the point of view of child immigrants. Students are exposed to qualitative studies on children's perspectives and conduct research with child immigrants.
The first half of the course touches on theoretical definitions of childhood and children's rights in relation to their welfare. The second half of the course focuses on the qualitative approach in the study of perspectives and its research methods, as well as with the application of the research on Israeli immigrant children's perspectives to their wellbeing while discussing ethical dilemmas in research with them.
By the end of the course, students have a better understanding of the knowledge, dilemmas and challenges that immigrant children face, become familiar with the theoretical approach and various methods in the study of children's perspectives and are able to conduct studies from the perspective of child immigrants; such as tailor research methods to the subject of research, conduct interviews with children and analyze and discuss the research data.
Developmental Psychology: A Context-Informed Perspective
Taught by Yan Serdtse, the course aims to understand development processes from infancy through childhood (birth to age six) in various respects including neuro-physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development. The course focuses on central issues that accompany the research and understanding of childhood development, nature versus nurture, stages of development versus continuous development, and their implications for psychopathology.
Israel is a country rich with immigration and multiculturalism. Educators come into daily contact with students and parents; potential differences often emerge between them on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, religion and gender. However, most of the training for this complex encounter is universal and ignores the differences between the groups (particularism). Critical theories raise the importance of the narrative of different groups and communities whose voices are not heard in the professional discourse and the importance of recognizing the difference between various cultures. The course will emphasize the importance of observing and examining the various contexts throughout developmental processes within the educational framework.