Section archive - Formal Education
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Book Review: Dynamics of Teaching and Learning Modern Hebrew as an Additional Language: Using Hebrew as a Means of Instruction and Acquisition. Author: Yona Gilead
In a field where teaching methods do not generally stem from published studies but rather from years of experiential knowledge of best practices shared among teachers, Yona Gilead’s Dynamics of Teaching and Learning Modern Hebrew as an Additional Language is groundbreaking first for the mere fact that it is one of the only empirical research pieces published in a mainstream venue that maps and records the Hebrew classroom routine at a micro level.
Updated: May. 15, 2019
Drawing on interview data from a practitioner research study involving secondary students in a Jewish school, the following paper presents students’ explanations for why learning through the arts is a valuable and important classroom experience. The explanations offered by students reflected a strong self-awareness and understanding of their own learning styles and how the arts complimented their studies and challenged them in new ways. In addition to hearing how students appreciate learning through the arts, the data also suggests that teachers and other school stakeholders should find ways to provide opportunities for students to contribute to conversations about pedagogical practice
Updated: Apr. 04, 2019
There is a change brewing in congregations across North America, one that is dramatically shifting the narrative of children’s experiences with Hebrew learning and Jewish education. Education directors have begun sharing stories of renewed energy in their buildings and of children who are excited to learn, especially Hebrew. This change is not about tweaking the traditional Hebrew learning model in part-time/synagogue settings. We have done that for years and it hasn’t worked. This is not about increasing Hebrew learning time. Over the years, “more of the same” has closed our students’ hearts to Hebrew as they spend four to six years on low-level prayer decoding/reading practice and review. This IS about changing foundational Hebrew learning assumptions that have shaped Hebrew education in synagogues for decades.
Updated: Apr. 03, 2019
Though Holocaust education is of critical importance in the world of Jewish Day Schools, little research has been conducted about it. The purpose of this paper is to answer some critical questions about how they teach the Holocaust in Jewish Day Schools–the who, what, when, where, how, and why questions. Additionally, comparisons are made between how the Holocaust is taught in America’s public schools versus Jewish Day Schools.
Updated: Mar. 20, 2019
This article aims to describe the development of a curriculum framework for prayer in UK centrist orthodox Jewish primary schools. This process began in 2011 and continues in an ongoing way. This is the first time that there has been a communal effort across Jewish schools that focuses on this area of the curriculum.
Updated: Mar. 07, 2019
Applying Montessori Principles in China: The Impact of Being a Situational Minority in a Particularistic Jewish Heritage School
The aim of the research is to investigate a Montessori pedagogic approach, enabling a Jewish school to be part of the Chinese international-school system, while fostering Jewish identity. We conducted semistructured interviews with principals (2), teachers (8), parents (12), and students (10) and recorded class observations (8) over two visits. The analysis employed a grounded theory approach using a constant comparative method. The main result was that Montessori principles enabled the school to foster a strong particularistic Jewish identity for this situational minority while also developing a broad understanding of the host (Chinese) culture.
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019
This article presents original qualitative research applying paired text study, havruta learning, to the secular college classroom. I adapted this method to a first-year seminar in a public university and found that students perceived that havruta improved their abilities to verbalize their understandings through reading text aloud and debating one another, opened their eyes to new perspectives, engaged them in argumentation, and empowered them to take charge of learning.
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019
This study examined the experiences of teachers in a Jewish early childhood center implementing constructivist theory and pedagogy through a Reggio Emilia-inspired model. Constructivist practices were described through interviews, surveys, classroom documentation, and observations.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
The history of Jewish day schools in Los Angeles can provide lessons that are widely applicable to the future of Jewish education. The number and variety of non-Orthodox day schools in the city surged in the late 1970s through the 1990s, creating the contemporary landscape of day schools. However, it is the first few schools, established before the number of day schools exploded due to court-ordered busing and other factors, that illustrate an important lesson for the future of day schools in Los Angeles and across the country.
Updated: Jan. 10, 2019
Learning Standards in a Non-Standard System: Mapping Student Knowledge and Comprehension in Ultra-Orthodox Talmud Torah Schools
The Jewish ultra-orthodox (Haredi) Talmud Torah schools have been consistently resistant to the process of standardization in content, measurement, and evaluation, in contrast to the Israeli state education system which has progressed steadily in these areas. Talmud Torah schools are private elementary schools for ultra-orthodox boys. Studies are religious and the main subject of study is the Gemara (Talmud). For religious and ideological reasons these schools insist on total independence at all levels and resist assessment or regulation of any kind and as a result have rarely been studied by Israeli or international researchers. The present study examined the contribution of a unique Gemara study program to a sample of 159 sixth grade boys in Talmud Torah schools.
Updated: Dec. 19, 2018