A Palestinian teacher’s play-based methods have won her a $1 million global education prize, reports Diaa Hadid in the New York Times. The Varkey Foundation chose Hanan Hroub for developing educational games for children traumatized by violence.
When a reporter visited her West Bank classroom, “second-grade students were not focusing on their assigned task of scrawling math problems on balloons,” writes Hadid. “They were popping those balloons.”
The teacher put four marks underneath a frowning yellow face.
“No, Miss! No! We will concentrate, we promise!” piped up a girl named Shurouq. Ms. Hroub and her charges discussed why they felt distracted, and promised to do better.
Not all is fun and games, reports Hadid. “Some Israelis have denounced her as part of a Palestinian education system they see as inciting violence, and noted with dismay that her husband assisted in the killing of six Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1980.”