Lesson series

Affirming The Palestinian Identity In Education

This course will help participants explore various aspects of the Palestinian identity, such as history, culture, tradition, in addition to the endured biases and oppression by Palestinians in various parts of the world. The course also introduces the definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism, what it looks like and what educators can do to dismantle it. Through unlearning to rethink biases, broadening the perspective about the Palestinian identity, this course will equip educators with the tools and knowledge to foster safe learning environments, embrace culturally responsive teaching practices and create supportive and equitably inclusive spaces for Palestinian students.

Course Lessons

Shirel Pegios

Shirel has been an elementary educator in Ontario for over 13 years. Her focus has been in primary education, teaching Kindergarten through to Grade 3. She strives to create learning environments where every student feels seen, heard, and valued for who they are, their various identities and intersectionalities. As an educator of Palestinian Christian and Moroccan Jewish heritage, she comes with a very interesting and extraordinary lived experience which has influenced her passion for anti-racist/anti-oppressive work. 

Shirel has also dedicated much of her professional learning to mindfulness and its impact on children in the classroom. Including mindfulness daily to support student mental health and wellbeing is a cornerstone of Shirel’s philosophy of teaching. 

Heba Mousa

Heba has been an educator in Ontario, Canada for 16 years, teaching secondary mathematics for 14 years. Currently, Heba is a secondary school Vice-Principal. 

Heba is very passionate about celebrating diversity and embedding cultural responsive and relevant pedagogy in education. She supported school and system wide learning around dismantling racism, Inclusive Design for Learning, and Restorative Justice education. 

Born to two Palestinian parents, Heba is determined to change and challenge the narrative of what it means to be a Palestinian in a public education system by learning and Unlearning. Heba is an avid believer that with knowledge comes power and with power comes the responsibility of taking action to be an anti-racist educator. 

Course Reviews

This course struck me as a wonderful piece of training for educators. I appreciated that Shirel is both Palestinian and Jewish, and that the intersectionality of Palestinian identity remained a key thread throughout the training. I appreciated the ways that anti-semitism was explained and contextualized against the backdrop of anti-Palestinian racism. I thought the curriculum used plain language, relevant and local examples, and linked to some great resources. I also appreciated how the connections of this specifically for students was made so clear.

Anna Lippman

York U Grad Student (member of Independent Jewish Voice)
This course for educators will help anti-racist and equity educators start to create safe classroom and school environments for their Palestinian students and teach all students about the history of Palestine and Palestinian culture. The basics are here and links and resources to expand knowledge for you and your students.

As a retired Jewish educator who grew up in a Zionist North American family and community, I appreciate the range of issues that are covered and the inclusion of many videos and learning resources such as books for a variety of ages. It is through resources such as the speech by Miko Peled that we can imagine a future without oppression. 

For me, breaking with my community’s support of Israel was a process that was fraught by rejection by my family and that community. I think this unlearn course will help other Jewish educators who want to get started teaching Palestine and fully supporting Palestinian students in their classrooms.

Jenny Stimac

Retired Secondary School Teacher. B.F.A. and B. Ed.  
Member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada