Gender Issues in Arab Female Teachers’ Stories

The teaching profession is considered, both in Israel and elsewhere, to be a “feminine” profession. Studies which have examined the work and life stories of women teachers sometimes deal with this aspect, when it seems to be a meaningful element in the study. The present study is a narrative study examining 23 educational autobiographies written by female Arab graduate students as a course requirement at an academic college of education. The texts were analyzed using the Narrative Based Theory approach, with Gender being the central analysis and discussion category. The analysis discovered four sub-categories: choosing the teaching profession for gender-related reasons, dealing with male authority, gender-based discrimination, and family vs. career. The findings show that in Israel Arab women in general and Arab female teachers specifically suffer from different kinds of gender-based discrimination, at home, within their families, at work, and in society in general. The stories included indications of change, but the situation in general is not encouraging. It seems that Arab women in Israel have a long way to go in order to overcome the double discrimination they suffer from, as women in a conservative-patriarchal society and as belonging to an ethnic minority in the state of Israel.

Social Justice, Identity

Learner Diversity and Identities

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Dr. Orly Sela
    • Oranim Academic College of Education, Israel Israel
    • Dr. Orly Sela has a PhD in Education from Haifa University, and teaches various courses in education at both the BA and the MEd programs at Oranim Academic College of Education, where she is also head of the Department of English Language and Literature. Her research interests include qualitative research, narrative research, action research, distance learning, and the teaching of English as an additional language.