Educating for Multiculturalism Begins at TEC Center

TEC Center harnesses technology to the service of tolerance in society

Today’s world is typified by rapid changes and the absence of borders, making it a single global village, but also by cultural, religious, and ethnic strengthening. Do these two trends contradict one another, or do they perhaps complement each other?

Israeli society is characterized by cultural diversity, which also manifests in its educational institutions, including colleges of education, which are affiliated with different cultures and denominations.

The technological reality of the twenty-first century enables communication between different cultures, and this communication can be utilized to become better acquainted with the culture of the other, to find common universal values, along with each culture’s unique values, and to develop a dialogue characterized by openness, understanding, and mutual respect.

The colleges of education train the population of future teachers to contend with data-intensive environments, rapid changes and transitions, and a pluralistic society that emphasizes the cultural uniqueness of each community. This comes from an understanding that intercultural acknowledgement and communication is essential in order to deepen mutual knowledge and respect for the sake of a more enlightened human future.

In light of this rationale, the Center for Technology, Education, and Cultural Diversity (TEC) engages in the development of a wide range of programs that operate in the education system, which utilize online learning activities to forge connections between educational institutions from different cultures. These activities include conferences, courses, and enrichment programs for schools, and are funded partly by the Ministry of Education, and partly by volunteers.

History of TEC Center: How the vision took shape, and you can’t argue with success!

TEC Center for Technology, Education, and Cultural Diversity was founded in 2005 by the heads of ICT: at Kibbutzim College of Education – Dr. Miri Shonfeld, at Talpiot College of Education – Dr. Elaine Hoter and Dr. Asmaa N. Ganayem at Al-Qasemi Academic College of Education, with the support of the heads of the colleges at the time, Dr. Yossi Assaf, Mr. Binyamin Bahagon, and Dr. Mohammed Issawi. To date, about 5,000 student teachers, 1000 teachers, and 20,000 pupils have participated in TEC Center programs.

The TEC model, developed by the three founders, offers an opportunity for students at different colleges and from different cultures to learn together via the Internet, using synchronous and asynchronous tools in mixed multicultural groups to create learning and teaching materials, and experience advanced teaching environments, which gradually build trust between the group members.

Over the years, students and lecturers from ten different colleges in the Arab sector, the state-religious sector, and the state-Jewish sector, have joined the program. In 2009, the TEC Center launched programs for teachers and pupils, in which fifth- to eighth-grade students learn together in clusters of three schools from the three population sectors, conduct joint research projects, and ultimately meet face to face.

In 2011, the TEC Center was transferred to the MOFET Institute, and began holding disciplinary courses in the spirit of the TEC model, with emphasis on becoming acquainted with the other by working collaboratively. For details on the projects and to view their products, click Academic Programs or Educational Programs.

Awards for success!

In 2013, the founders were awarded the Minister of Education Prize for a pedagogic initiative that brought about change in teacher education.

In 2018,  the TEC Center was awarded the Jerusalem Unity Prize in the presence of the President of the State. See the photo and the video:

Connections, collaborations, and publications

The TEC Center maintains connections with international organizations, presents at international conferences, publishes articles in journals (link to articles), and develops ties with organizations engaged in fostering intercultural connection.

TEC Covenant – A call for collaborative learning in a multicultural environment

Dear Colleagues, 

We – the students, graduates, teachers, and lecturers of the TEC Center-strive to connect diverse cultures through digital collaborative learning. It is our belief that discourse and cooperation can promote a shared society based on unity, tolerance and mutual responsibility. In the midst of these turbulent and sad days we call for sanity, moderation and mutual respect. During the 15 years of existence of the TEC Center, more than 20,000 college students, schoolchildren and teachers have participated in the Center’s activities, and in promoting multicultural collaborative learning. The TEC model advances teaching, understanding, and sharing throughout the multicultural population of Israel , which in turn influences society as a whole. We are all part of the same humanity, and want to live together in peace. Even during these difficult days we continue to emphasize cooperation and cultivate mutual respect through shared learning. We understand that education for diversity and sharing as a community fosters a just and creative society. If you believe, like us, that it is important to continue to promote collaborative learning between Jews and Arabs, religious and secular populations, to bring hearts together and co-creation in Israeli society, join us. We invite you to join our TEC community in the attached link! We also ask you to promote TEC and its ideals through your own efforts in multicultural education. We hope that through our shared efforts we can  reconcile the rifts created in Israeli society. 

The Staff of the TEC Center –