Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Informal Education in the Field: Visiting Bat Galim's Community Center in Haifa

Recently I conducted a visit with students to a community center in the struggling coastal neighborhood of Bat Galim in Haifa, Israel. The visit was part of their undergraduate studies as well as their training to become informal education practitioners. The students were introduced to the challenges of informal education management as they met Ehud Cohen,

Ehud Cohen - Discussing Administrative Challenges in Bat Galim's Community Center
a leading manager in the center ; Later on, they met Erez Sarig. Sarig is a young community leader and activist for green causes. During their visit, Erez discussed the activities involved in the Bat Galim's community garden. A place that fosters communal practices, agricultural knowledge, and inspires a green approach to community members,
Erez Sarig and Haifa University Students discussing Bat Galim's Communal Garden
This was followed by a workshop and lecture with Rony Keynan on community theater. It should be noted that Ms. Keynan is a leading member in the Hai-Po community theater in Haifa and introduced the group to drama-laden forms of pedagogy through a workshop activity (demonstrated in these photos).

Informal Education Students Workshop Activities

Rony Keynan explaining the foundations of Community Theater and dramatic practice
and finally Hanna Meller offered some inspiring discussion on the formation of a woman's club in the neighborhood, in collaboration with the Milav – Municipal agency in Haifa .
Hanna Meller Discussing Elderly Women empowerment in the Community Center
Overall it was a warm and wonderful day in November, which provided an opportunity to reflect on the multitude of pedagogical means and possibilities for informal education in its engagement with local communities.