“Good citizenship” through Bilingual Children Literature: Arabic and Hebrew

Sara Zamir, Lea Baratz


The aim of the research has been to evaluate the contribution of the genre of bilingual literature, Arabic and
Hebrew, to citizenship education. Since the Israeli society is a multicultural society comprised of both nations,
Arabs and Jews who live in conflicted environment, one must regard those textbooks as civic agents. Literature
is a socialization agent and as such it is an active influential factor in children's mental environment. Choosing
literary pieces adapted to children's life is important, since literature, by its essence, is about values, and its
function is to mold the child's character as an adult citizen. According the typology of Westheimer and Kahne
(2003), the notion of being a good citizen is comprised of three types: the responsible citizen, the participatory
citizen and the justice citizen. The content analysis procedure, based on Krrippendorff (2004), revealed that most
the stories, hence, ten out the thirteen deal with the two elevated types of citizenship, namely, the participatory
citizen and the justice citizen. Inspire of the fact that we are dealing with children's literature, the authors of
bilingual children literature do not belittle the capacity of children to grasp their role as citizens in multicultural

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jel.v2n3p71


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