Zionist ideology

  • Creating a National Identity through Agricultural Education in Mandatory Palestine

    Formation of agricultural education in high schools was a milestone in the early 20th-century history of Zionist education, and in the Jewish society in Mandatory Palestine in general. Agricultural education was a means of changing the character of the Jewish people by imparting agricultural knowledge and training. Candidates came from agricultural settlements, but mainly – and this was its uniqueness – they also came from the towns. In addition, agricultural education provided a framework for absorbing immigrant youth. This educational framework was, among other things, ideological because those who joined it were usually motivated by a desire to change the character of the Jewish society, return to the land and work it. The cost of funding agricultural schools was high for the local Jewish community, and therefore these schools remained dependent on private initiative and philanthropy. In spite of the widespread ideological support, not many students actually took part in agricultural education due to the high cost of tuition on the one hand, and the need to help support their own families on the other. It can also be said that during this period, parents who had the means to provide their children with higher education, favoured the “Gymnasium” high school model, which could lead to them engaging in other professions.

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