CAMERA’s Launches Media Curriculum for Middle and Highschoolers

CAMERA is pleased to announce the official launch of “Eyes on Israel,” our new curriculum for middle school and high school students on the media’s coverage of the Middle East.  This follows the well-received piloting of the material last spring in middle schools and high schools across the country.

Praise from the schools that recently tested it was uniformly positive. One teacher, who used it in 9th and 10th grade classes in a Michigan day school wrote, “I thoroughly enjoyed using the curriculum. The information was clearly presented and readily understood… My principal dropped in for a surprise visit on the day that I did the unit on the Security Fence… She was delighted to see the students exercising critical thinking skills and evaluating the various sources that were quoted.” The principal of a congregational middle school in suburban Chicago wrote: “[We] were extremely pleased with the material. The students received so much from the program!” Still another congregational 7th-8th grade teacher from Tucson, AZ remarked, “Curriculum is excellent. Content very thorough and applicable. Very user friendly.”

In August, CAMERA promoted “Eyes on Israel” at the 2007 CAJE (Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education) conference in St. Louis. Once again, the response was enthusiastic. Educators from all across the country, as well as from Canada, Argentina and Turkey, requested copies. While middle and high school teachers were most represented, youth group personnel and college instructors were also interested in receiving the curriculum.

Cover of “Eyes on Israel” Curriculum

“Eyes on Israel” consists of four modules, suitable for use in a day-school, community high school or congregational school setting, regardless of denomination. The four sections are:

1) Journalism and its Responsibilities: An introduction to the core issue of this curriculum, this module touches on the obligations of journalists in covering complex issues like the Middle East conflict. Students explore journalistic standards and ethics and their relationship to reporting on Israel.

2) U.N. Resolution 242: A Case-Study in Media Coverage: Students examine the key diplomatic component of Arab-Israeli negotiations and how it is rendered in the media

3) What You Can Do: Mindful of journalists’ responsibility to follow their professional standards, this module teaches students how to advocate for balanced and accurate coverage of the Middle East.

4) A Brief History of Modern Israel: A concise overview of the history of Israel from the late 19th century to the current day providing basic facts and events concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. Full of richly illustrated materials, the module also has an extensive appendix of recommended books and videos.

CAMERA is distributing the curriculum free of charge. Schools will receive a CD compete with lesson plans, student handouts and teacher’s aids in PDF format as well as the multimedia material – radio and television broadcasts, PowerPoint slide shows – referenced in the four modules. Individual schools would then be responsible for printing out the materials they plan on using.

For more information about “Eyes on Israel,” contact CAMERA’s curriculum coordinator, Lainee Grauman, lainee@camera.org.