The Visit of an International Delegation of
Educators to The MOFET Institute – March 2014

The objective of the Foreign Ministry’s Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center is to train people from developing countries for essential positions in those countries. The Center maintains close contact with The MOFET Institute, and every year, groups of educators, participating in a Carmel course, are brought to visit the Institute.
 
On March 18 this year, The MOFET Institute hosted another delegation from the Mount Carmel Center. The participants’ fields of specialization were special education and early childhood education, and, as is the custom at MOFET, the program of the visit was devised in accordance with the guests’ areas of interest.
The visit commenced with a meeting with Dr. Sara Ziv, who was responsible for envisaging, initiating, and establishing The MOFET Institute. Dr. Ziv explained to the guests that the impressive premises they were visiting did not in the least resemble the place where everything originally began. She described her personal need at the beginning of her career as a teacher educator and the first stages toward realizing the dream.
In order to demonstrate the role played by the Institute in the lives of the college faculty members, along with the desire to relate to the guests’ fields of specialization, the members of the Special Education Coordinators’ Forum were invited to the encounter. Dr. Niva Oren, head of the forum, provided a brief overview regarding the question of special education in Israel, discussed the training programs for special education, and explained how the forum works and what the aims of its encounters are. Afterwards, the members of the forum mingled with the guests, and in the small-group conversations that developed, became better acquainted with them. The guests described what was being done in their countries, asked numerous questions, and raised the possibility of establishing ties with the forum members. The latter also benefited from the international encounter from the point of view of ideas and food for thought.
As mentioned above, the presentation of the MOFET model was intertwined with a program focusing on special education and early childhood. An additional facet of this program was the encounter with Dr. Betty Schreiber, a staff member at the Kibbutzim College of Education’s MAHUT Center. The latter was devised and planned at MOFET by a participant in the management specialization program. Dr. Schreiber related to the dilemmas associated with training students with learning disabilities to be teachers. She described the supportive environment, the tools at the students’ disposal, and the work processes at the MAHUT Center. The high point of the encounter with Dr. Schreiber was an experiment that she had organized for the guests in which the participants experienced the learning-disabled student’s difficulties first-hand.
Dr. Sara Ziv introduced the guests to MOFET’s International Channel and its range of activities. In order to demonstrate one of the activities, Penny Barsimantov presented the academic portal. The guests not only displayed a great deal of interest in it, but expressed the desire to join and make use of it.
The program was concluded by Dr. Michal Golan, head of The MOFET Institute, who related to the training of kindergarten and early childhood teachers. Dr. Golan stressed the training components to which anyone involved in teacher education must pay attention – topics such as age characteristics, definition and content of the role, professional ethics, and so on.
The day ended with a statement from the guests’ representative: “It was not only a fascinating encounter – it was an eye-opener!”