“Our Identity is Our Dignity”: Digital Transformations: Palestinian Aspirations, Idealism, Reality and Pragmatism





collaboration, agency, innovative pedagogy, professional development, ownership, sovereign, culturally situated curricula


This article reports on a collaborative project for the digital innovation of language teaching in Palestine, and it argues for the necessity of mobile learning to circumvent disruption created by the Israeli occupation causing challenges that result in marginalisation and disenfranchisement of opportunity. This partly occurs through the oppression of a sovereign curriculum that supports Palestinian self-determination. This oppression is against both the United Nations Development Goals protected rights for education and the Palestinian Ministry’s vision for a society with an education sector that embraces the use of technology to invigorate the value of its culture, produce knowledge and promote emancipation. The article proposes the integration of digital technologies with student-centred learning to enhance and support transformation through three main elements: 1. Digital competence to develop confidence and agency in teachers; 2. Continuous teacher learning to develop autonomy and collaboration within organisations; 3. Problem-solving competencies, which can result in continuous improvement loops and local solutions to barriers. This article will resonate with those recognising the need for critical theory to challenge policy and practice where it deepens disadvantage. It draws upon the voices of 20 teachers from four higher education institutions in Palestine, who reflect on the barriers to innovation and a reclaiming of educational terrain.


Metrics Loading ...


Abusamra, A. 2023. “Why Do We Need to Reform Higher Education Management in Palestine?” Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice 23 (5): 62–90. https://doi.org/10.33423/jhetp.v23i5.5926 DOI: https://doi.org/10.33423/jhetp.v23i5.5926

Bakeer, A. M. 2018. “Students’ Attitudes towards Implementing Blended Learning in Teaching English in Higher Education Institutions: A Case of Al-Quds Open University”. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 8 (6): 131–139. https://doi.org/10.30845/ijhss.v8n6a15 DOI: https://doi.org/10.30845/ijhss.v8n6a15

Barghouti, N., and T. Sbeahat. 2019. “Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Palestinian HEIs: An e-Learning Initiative that Bridges Educational and Socio-Political Gaps ‘TEFL-ePAL’”. Dissemination Report (2019).

Bianchi, R., and A. Hussein-Abdel Razeq. 2017. “The English Language Teaching Situation in Palestine”. In English Language Education Policy in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by R. Kirkpatrick, Language Policy, Vol. 13, 147–169. Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46778-8_10 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46778-8_10

Bsharat, T. R. K., F. P Behak, S. B. Selamat, M. Y. Barahmeh, K. A.-J. Dweikat, M. Zyoud, I. A. A. Salama, and E. I. Issa. 2023. “Effectiveness of Big Five Traits on Classroom Management in Teaching English Language in Palestinian Schools”. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal 10 (9): 318–331. https://doi.org/10.14738/assrj.109.15492 DOI: https://doi.org/10.14738/assrj.109.15492

Fawns, T. 2022. “An Entangled Pedagogy: Looking beyond the Pedagogy-Technology Dichotomy”. Postdigital Science and Education 4 (3): 711–728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00302-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00302-7

Gendler, T. S. 2008. “Alief in Action (and Reaction)”. Mind and Language 23 (5): 552–585. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2008.00352.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2008.00352.x

Koehler, M., and P. Mishra. 2009. “What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)?” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 9 (1): 60–70. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/29544/

Martin, A. W. 2005. “Large Group Processes as Action Research”. In Handbook of Action Research, edited by P. Reason and H. Bradbury, 200–208. London: Sage Publications.

Ministry of Education and Higher Education. 2017. An Elaboration of The Education Development Strategic Plan III (2014-2019). https://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/sites/default/files/ressources/palestine_education_sector_strategic_plan_2017-2022.pdf

Muhtaseb, R., J. Traxler, and H. Scott. 2023. “Educators’ Perceptions of the Influence of Culture on Social Media Use in Education in Palestine”. Asian Journal of Distance Education 18 (1): 271–300. https://www.asianjde.com/ojs/index.php/AsianJDE/article/view/698

Saffarini, G. 2010. “Higher Education and Research in Palestine”. Paper presented at the The Euro-Mediterranean Student Research Multi-Conference “Living together in the Multi-Cultured Society”, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine, June 14, 2010. Accessed February 2, 2024. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259257820_Higher_education_and_research_in_Palestine

Scott, H., and S. Jarrad. 2023. “‘To Exist Is to Resist’: A Reflective Account of Developing a Paradigm Shift in Palestinian Teaching and Learning Practice”. In Critical Digital Pedagogy in Higher Education, edited by S. Köseoğlu, G. Veletsianos and C. Rowell, 189–204. Athabasca: Athabasca Press. https://www.aupress.ca/books/120310-critical-digital-pedagogy-in-higher-education/

Shraim, K., and H. Crompton. 2015. “Perceptions of Using Smart Mobile Devices in Higher Education Teaching: A Case Study from Palestine”. Contemporary Educational Technology 6 (4): 301–318. https://doi.org/10.30935/cedtech/6156 DOI: https://doi.org/10.30935/cedtech/6156

Shraim, K., and Z. Khlaif. 2010. “An E-Learning Approach to Secondary Education in Palestine: Opportunities and Challenges”. In “ICT Education in Development”, edited by S. Assar, R. El Amrani and R. Watson, special issue, Information Technology for Development 16 (3): 159–173. https://doi.org/10.1080/02681102.2010.501782 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02681102.2010.501782

Smith, M., H. Scott, and J. Traxler. 2022. “When Classrooms Aren’t an Option: Researching Mobile Language Learning through Disruption”. In The Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom, edited by H. Reinders, C. Lai and P. Sundqvist, 395–407. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003048169-32 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003048169-32

Svirsky, M. 2023. “The Israeli Elephant in the Settler-Colonial Room”. Postcolonial Studies 62 (4): 508–524. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2022.2080153 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2022.2080153

Traxler, J., Z. Khaif, A. Nevill, S. Affouneh, S. Salha, A. Zuhd, and F. Trayek. 2019. “Living under Occupation: Palestinian Teachers’ Experiences and Their Digital Responses”. Research in Learning Technology 27: 1–18. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v27.2263 DOI: https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v27.2263

Ujvari, M. M. 2022. “Linguistic Landscape in the West Bank: Road Signs as Manifestations of Occupation”. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 4(1), 374-387. https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v4i1.881 DOI: https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v4i1.881




How to Cite

Scott, Howard, Montaser Motia Ujvari, and Matthew Smith. 2024. “‘Our Identity Is Our Dignity’: Digital Transformations: Palestinian Aspirations, Idealism, Reality and Pragmatism”. Education As Change 28 (March):14 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/1947-9417/13828.



Themed Section 1
Received 2023-06-06
Accepted 2024-01-16
Published 2024-03-15