Emancipatory Education

eman.edu fieldIn dealing with social and political change processes the question of education is of major interest. What kind of education is necessary to prepare and strengthen people to kick start social and political change? Emancipatory education is an approach that goes beyond the simple transfer of knowledge, but questions the given structure of socio-economic and political relations altogether and supports people not only to demand a different world, but also to discuss and prepare for alternatives. But what is emancipatory, critical leftist education or what makes educational approaches emancipatory? How should education be conceptualized, organized and conveyed in order to have an emancipatory impact? How should the role of educators change and how should the settings and the methodologies be structured in order to hinder the reproduction of hierarchical and dominating structures and elements? In the Palestinian context of occupation, economic dependency, enormous socio-economic change processes and stratifications on the one hand and traditional, hierarchal teaching – learning structures on the other hand – the topic becomes even more challenging. RLS cooperates with Palestinian organizations, educators and artists who are using a variety of tools to support critical thinking approaches as well as the activation and participation of people in order to foster the development of a democratic progressive Palestinian society.



AFKAR Institute for Educational & Cultural Development 

AFKAR for Educational & Cultural Development is a non-governmental organization founded to provide capacity building and empowerment for students to meet the ever-increasing challenges and needs of education and culture in the Palestinian society.                     


Project:To Strengthen Palestinian Youth’s Ability to Speak Critically on Controversial Issues“

AFKAR works at promoting alternative methods of learning and performing in Palestinian schools in the West Bank, specifically at more conservative public schools. In cooperation with the selected schools, equally split male and female, classes and teachers are chosen and trained separately in debating, communication skills, and critical thinking. Each term closes with a debate competition. In 2015, AFKAR will establish 16 debate clubs in the 16 governorates across the West Bank.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:



ASHTAR for Theater Productions and Training

The ASHTAR Theatre was established in Jerusalem in 1991 as a non-profit organization focusing on drama training for students. Since then, ASHTAR has steadily expanded the scope of its activities and brought along the method of forum theatre. ASHTAR today is based in Ramallah and is among the best established cultural spots in town.


Project: “Theatre of the Oppressed for Legal and Socio-Political Change“

Using the didactic approach of the forum theatre, developed in Brasil as part of the Theatre of the Oppressed Movement, ASHTAR tries to activate its guests to overcome the classic distinction of actors and audience, transforming the latter from passive visitors to involved participants. Conceiving theatre and acting as a tool for social change, ASHTAR in 2014 has produced and performed a play about questions of “development” and “self-determination” in Palestine. In 2015, ASHTAR is further touring the produced critical play and will discuss it with different stakeholders related to the issue. Additionally, the Gaza branch of ASHTAR will produce and perform a play on a topic to be chosen according to the priorities of the youth actors.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:


www.facebook.com/ashtar theatre

The Civil Associations Union for Development (CAUD)

CAUD is an umbrella organization unifying several Palestinian unions, grassroots organizations, women rights groups, and NGOs dealing with development in many different aspects in order to bundle their efforts towards initiating and advocating progressive leftist programs.


Project:  “Grassroots Participatory Initiatives for more Progressive Education in Palestine“

In 2014, CAUD ran a large advocacy campaign about gender roles and principles of equality within school curriculums for Palestinian elementary schools. In 2015, CAUD intends to strengthen the capacity –mainly on advocating and campaigning- of its’ wide range of grassroots organizations, aiming at better strategizing and better performance towards genuine progressive achievements within Palestinian schools’ curriculums.


Exchange: Historical Learning

This project aims at extending bridges between two groups of progressive German and Palestinian youth;  SJD-Die Falken in Germany and Infordependence Youth Union (IYU) in Palestine. Both have already agreed to arrange an opportunity for collaborative learning on history, culture, and commemoration in Germany. Both groups shall learn about the holocaust carried out by the Nazis during the Second World War, and the Palestinian catastrophe (Nakba).  The aim of the seminar is not just to build up empirical knowledge but also to find a way to express sensibility for the people who suffered and to establish a better understanding of each other.


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR)

MADAR was founded in 2000 as a non-profit civil society organization by an initiative of a select number of Palestinian intellectuals and academics. MADAR seeks to enhance knowledge among Palestinian society, but also the general Arab public and intellectuals, about Israeli political, cultural, military, and socioeconomic issues. Considering the importance of these topics, MADAR tries to educate Palestinians by publishing books, research papers, and translations of texts, written in Hebrew and other languages, into Arabic to raise knowledge about Israel. Throughout the Arab world, MADAR is outstanding in its scope and outreach to the public and scientific community.


Project: “Knowing the Israeli Scene and Understanding its Complexity”

In 2015, MADAR will publish four volumes of the magazine “Israeli Issues” about issues such as neo-Zionism, Israel’s juridical system, and shall further conduct a number of public seminars.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:



Study: “Education in Palestine – Current Challenges and Emancipatory Alternatives

The study shall present an overview of the current challenges facing education in Palestine and to highlight the various emancipatory alternatives, both those already being implementedand those in the initial stages of development. The study also aims at shedding light on some relevant international experiences that can be of use to the Palestinians. The study shall close up with a list of recommendations for further development and consolidation of critical education approaches in Palestine.

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien