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שער אבן באתר קדום

A discourse of identity

 The educational "fuel"

A sign on a door

What is the relationship between identity and education?


Education plays a crucial role in shaping our identities as it serves as a platform for acquiring knowledge, developing skills, and fostering personal growth. It is through education that individuals are able to understand themselves better, their place within society, and the world around them. 


Identity is the overall meaning of who we are - or rather, how we perceive ourselves. There are different dimensions of identity. One that changes - for example age, and a more permanent one - such as tribal or national affiliation.

Since the modern age, and more specifically the secular age, identity has become a matter of choice, because the (liberal) reality is actually freedom of choice.


This is how "religion" was born as one option among "secular" options. I am a conservative or a Buddhist - because I chose to be one. Of course, the choice is influenced by my education, and there is a circle here - but it is not closed - insofar as the person himself creates and shapes reality, and his identity.

An educational journey is progressing towards some vision of "good". Even if we don't announce it - we have a vision of goodness and we shape our identity based on it.


In summary, while education provides a foundation for identity formation, it is ultimately up to each individual to use this knowledge and these skills to shape their own unique identity. The relationship between identity and education is therefore reciprocal - education influences our identities, but we also influence our educational experiences in turn shaping who we are as individuals.

different skills


Who escapes identity?

When we cultivate "skills" such as cooperation in a team, or "criticality"  - this is shaping the student's character, in light of humanistic values - of which criticality, for example, is a built-in part. In other places, obedience or submission is cultivated rather than asking questions.


These are distinct differences in educational approaches that are always in the context of a particular identity.

For political and other reasons, some create an illusion as if we cultivate skills but not identity. It's actually a dangerous process.  Only in cultivating plants or building objects is there no need for identity. Fleeing from the discourse of identity may simply increase an instrumental attitude towards human beings, and often also a moral attitude towards art and hatred.


Why is identity important for good pedagogy?

Good educators - act through the fuel of their educational vision. on the cultivation of identity. This is the basic passion of education.

Educators who give up on identity discourse - also impair the ability to adapt the education process itself. Because identity enables a common language and also a clear direction for pedagogical development.

כרזה - ערכים אישיים

What is a secular-humanist identity?

Humanistic educators are people who believe - in man.

Humanism means empathy and belief in man as an intelligent being, hence the assumption that man can be critical - to choose, and therefore - free.


Humanistic education cultivates morals and values from the reason and feelings of the child - with the belief that such a possibility exists in every person. Therefore, humanistic education does not cultivate obedience to Halacha or external force at the expense of internal recognition.

Humanistic education is possible within a certain culture - I am a French humanist, or a humanist Jew - but there is no humanist without culture. Each person acts through a culture based on a heritage through which he understands the world. At least one culture.

Therefore, respect for heritage and culture is necessary for a secular-humanistic education.

In fact, due to my special culture, Jewish for example, I embrace humanistic values.  If and when it appears to me that my culture represents values opposite to those of humanism - a conflict arises, the consequences of which may significantly harm the chance of a life of freedom and peace - the chance of maintaining Real democracy.

Our prosperity depends on humanistic education based on children's culture. Jewish (And Arab...) culture has a lot to offer in this field. It's in our hands. 


The Hagut Institute aims to promote intellectual contemplation, or "hagut" in Hebrew, by facilitating discussions and refining teaching methods to better address various topics and enhance educational practices.

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