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Collaborating With the "Other": Arab and Jewish Teachers Teaching in Each Other's Company


by Jocelyn Glazier — 2004

This article describes the collaborative work of three teacherstwo Arab and one Jewishas they taught first grade together in a then new bilingual/bicultural school in Israel. The article is based on an ethnographic study the author conducted at the school during the school's first year (1998-1999), examining in particular the interactions between the teachers to determine how working collaboratively inside and outside of the same classroom context influenced each teacher's understandings about themselves and each other as Arab and Jew. Together, these three teachers negotiated their classroom work, entered into planning conversations, held discussions with parents and others, and shared teaching episodes. As they discovered and worked through the dilemmas of this collaborative work, they learned more about themselves as Arab and Jew, ultimately reshaping how they taught their students. As three teachers with different cultural histories, they were forced to reflect on their beliefs and actions from a number of perspectives as they engaged in the work of the school. They began to developor further develop in some casesa critical consciousness in each other's company. This was particularly true for the Jewish teacher who is central in this article. It is her learningas a member of the culture of power in Israelthat most closely resembles the potential learning that could be realized by today's teaching cohort in the United States if teacher educators create structures and opportunities that enable meaningful cross-cultural learning to take place. The author posits that a more collaborative and cross-cultural model of teaching and teacher learning is worth thinking about as teacher educators work to prepare teachers everywhere, particularly in the United States, to address the needs of the diverse students in today's schools.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 3, 2004, p. 611-633
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11529, Date Accessed: 10/31/2014 3:16:21 PM

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About the Author
  • Jocelyn Glazier
    George Washington University
    E-mail Author
    JOCELYN ANNE GLAZIER is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Washington University. Her current research explores the work of teachers who teach critical literacy and multicultural literature in classrooms with diverse student populations. Recent publications include ‘‘Developing Cultural Fluency: Arab and Jewish Students Engaging in Each Other’s Company,’’ in the Harvard Educational Review and ‘‘Moving Closer to Speaking the Unspeakable: White Teachers Talking About Race,’’ in Teacher Education Quarterly.
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