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The History of Kibbutz Education

Practice into Theory


Yuval Dror

This book tells the history of some 90 years of «cooperative education». It presents the history of kibbutz education from Degania, the first kibbutz, throughout the 254 secular kibbutzim in Israel at the end of the 20th century. The study examines systematically the ongoing tension and interplay of practice and theory in kibbutz education. After discussing the theory of communal education and describing the division of work between the paternal home and the children’s house, the author describes its structure from infant’s house to high school. He also deals with the broader social and educational systems: multi-group children’s and youth societies which combine social life, work and studies, the metamorphosis of the kibbutz oriented youth movement into an independent multi-channeled movement and the development of kibbutz educational systems on a local, regional and central level. A final chapter on research and historical evaluation of cooperative education sheds light on the link between practice and theory in education.
Contents: The theory of cooperative education and its founding fathers – Between parental house and children’s house – Formal education in the kibbutz: From practice to theory – Semi-nonformal education: Combination of social life, work and studies – Nonformal education: From ‘movements for youth’ to ‘kibbutz youth movements’ – The role of local and regional instruments in the kibbutz education system – Historical evaluation of kibbutz education and its consequences for the link between practice and theory of education.