The Education Cities Network was founded by TOPAZ- Leading Social Innovations and the Education Cities organization. The network is a group of Israeli municipalities, organizations and businesses, that lead educational innovation, and who joined forces.
Paraphrasing on the famous expression, it appears that no city is an Island. During the first years of the network’s activity a learning and support group has formed. Each municipality shares its experience, successes and failures, and network members increasingly become more aware of each other’s existence and of the opportunities that lie in the collaborative work. Network members are both learners and teachers and practice, first and foremost, Arvut Haddadit (Hebrew term for mutual responsibility). The network’s activity is in the form of one-day or two-day sessions throughout the year, as well as mutual learning expeditions in Israel and worldwide.
Network members –
Cities – Bet Yam, Hadera, Jerusalem, Yeruham, Nazareth-illit, & Netanya.
Regional Councils – Golan, Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee, Menashe, Emek Hamaayanot & Arava.
The network’s activity takes place in three main channels –
- Nationwide Network Leadership – Sharing and Learning Meetings in which representative teams from each member city meet in a shared space of work and creation. Two annual meetings are held, during which education people from the network meet to present new initiatives that they have developed. Each municipality shares with other network members information about local actions, and benefits from network-wide brainstorming of successes and failures.
2. The Kitchenette at Education Cities – The Kitchenette is comprised for the most part from managers of Municipal Education Departments who have chosen to make a commitment for an intensive yearlong series of meetings designed for mutual learning, and for developing and building the network’s mission and activities. The Kitchenette operates in two ways:
- Development of collaborations between network member municipalities
- Promoting a shared network agenda in the work with the Ministry of Education
In other words, The Kitchenette designs the network’s contents and writes its guiding principles, as an influential and meaningful participant in the Israeli education landscape.
3. National Conferences and Tours – An opportunity for local learning expeditions among network members. There is a great deal of knowledge, experience and creativity in the network itself. The urban tours provide network members with an excellent opportunity to learn from colleagues out of each city and municipality’s strength areas as well as to carry out consultations on areas in which a city aspires to develop. This is accomplished by harnessing the network’s knowledge resources and rational.