Keynote Maria Fölling-Albers (University of Regensburg, Germany)


Collective and family education in the Israeli kibbutzim


The goal of the kibbutz movement, founded in 1910 (first kibbutz: Degania), was to create a new society and a New Man who fits that society according to the ideology of the socialistic Zionism. The new society should be as egalitarian and just as possible. The kibbutz developed an elitist conception of being a model for, and a facilitator of a new sane and just Jewish society (Dar). The new man should be a competent farmer, worker, and an effective self-defender, educated above average and last but not least, fit into community life.

The kibbutz movement created a special educational system in order to get along with its goals. The childrens house, the peer group, the family, the school and the community all have to co-operate as interchangeable units of a co-ordinated system of both formal and informal education.

In the first decades the childrens houses (with collective sleeping arrangements) were in the centre of kibbutz education. But during times the families got more and more influences on educational practice.

In the lecture I will give a short overview about the ideology and history of the kibbutz movement. Especially the lecture will deal with the theory and practice of collective education in the kibbutzim and changes that occurred since the 1950ies and 1970ies (familization). Some research results will give an idea about success and failure of kibbutz education.