An edX Course Created as Peace Project Between Israel’s Jewish and Arab Cultures Makes a Global Impact

IBL News | New York

Learners from 69 countries have enrolled in “The Hook, the Bait, and the Fish: Approaches to Teaching Thinking”, an awarded, video-driven course launched on in November 2020 and created as a peace project to bring closer Israel’s Jewish and Arab cultures.

This MOOC was created by the Al-Qasemi Academy, a small teacher college in Israel. This 8-week, online, free class follows the purpose stated in the classic adage, “give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

It teaches students educational and philosophical thinking by providing students motivational tool tools to enhance their creativity and develop lifelong learning skills.

The course, a finalist for the 2021 edX Prize, is led by Professor at Al-Qasemi Academy and book author Yoran Harpaz [in the picture above], whose educational theories comprise the teachings of the course. “Giving people the tools to become independent thinkers sets them on the path to fulfillment,” he said.

To explain concepts connected to thinking, Professor Harpaz wrote light-hearted videos shot in locations like a zoo, a library, and his own kitchen. Storytelling is one of the reasons for the success of the class.

Developed in three languages—Arabic, Hebrew, and English—the course is a significant cultural achievement for IsraelX, the international arm of Campus-IL, the flagship project of the National Digital Agency and Council for Higher Education in Israel.