Jewish Portal of Teacher Education

Articles of the week

Lost & Found is a game series, created at the Initiative for Religion, Culture, and Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Center. The series teaches medieval religious legal systems. This article uses the first two games of the series as a case study to explore a particular set of processes to conceive, design, and develop games for learning. It includes the background leading to the author's work in games and teaching religion, and the specific context for the Lost & Found series. It discusses the rationale behind working to teach religious legal systems more broadly, then discuss the hermeneutics influencing the approach to understanding the legal systems being modeled and closes with a discussion of the kind of teaching and learning involved in the design of the games and early stage data on the public play of the games.
CASJE (Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education), which gets its core funding from The AVI CHAI and the Jim Joseph Foundation is a project which aims to bridge the gap between research and practice in Jewish education. CASJE tries to toil both on the demand and the supply side of Jewish education research. That is, on the supply side it serves as a platform for the production of new, high quality applied research. On the demand side, it tries to help both educators and funders understand, utilize, and (hopefully) demand high quality, applied research. CASJE brings funders and educators together to draw out relevant and pressing problems of practice while in conversation with funders. CASJE then helps facilitate a process of bringing researchers and funders together to address practitioner problems. Through the expert counsel and vast network available via the CASJE board, CASJE is a platform for bringing the best of the general education field to bare on Jewish education.
In Jewish schools, where we’re concerned with students’ spiritual growth and want our children developing in emotionally and socially successfully ways, an emphasis on grades can run counter to these religious and psychological goals. After all, is there some tally for how a child has deepened religious practice or grown spiritually? Should there be? And what about the progress a child has made in becoming more organized, collaborating successfully on a project, or learning to manage time and emotions well? The latter skills translate into a productive adulthood, but we don’t often stop to teach them, much less measure them in some quantifiable way. So, these are the limitations of grades: they measure some very precise things that some kids can do very well, but they leave us without information about important types of competencies that students may or may not be developing, because grades generally don’t address religious, social, and emotional growth.