Section archive - Formal Education
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Teacher Diversity and the Right to Adaptable Education in the Religiously Oriented School: What Can We Learn From Students’ Perceptions?
This study examines students’ perceptions of disparities between teachers’ views and the school ethos in a religiously oriented school, and dissects the implications of such disparities on the children’s right to adaptable education. The study draws on 102 essays of students enrolled in an American Jewish high school that employs a diverse teaching staff. Findings demonstrate that teacher diversity in a religiously oriented school may fulfill the children’s right to adaptable education by motivating children to engage in social perspective taking, and to interact with multiple spheres of cultural affiliations.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2016
Ethical challenges confront each and every one of us in our daily lives. How honest should we be with our co-workers? To whom do we owe our greatest loyalty? How do we balance between our responsibility to family, community, profession, and self? Many view these kinds of challenges as obstacles to be overcome; others, however, see them as opportunities for schools to grow and find their most deeply held values. Much like a real-life Kohlbergian values-clarification exercise, the process of dealing with the challenges sometimes matters as much, if not even more than, the actual results. The process can help examine questions such as: Whose interests does the school place at the core? Who is involved in addressing the problem? What criteria are established for determining the most appropriate course of action? These questions touch the heart of the school’s identity, and it is questions like these to which we devote this issue of Jewish Educational Leadership.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2016
In the Winter, 2016 edition of The Steinhardt Foundation's Contact magazine, Rabbi David Gedzelman, President and CEO of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, advocates for the Hebrew proficiency approach to Hebrew language acquisition, an approach that emphasizes the mastery of Hebrew functional language skills in authentic contexts. It also emphasizes the primacy of oral expression over other language skills. He argues that an emphasis on reading reflects a Diaspora mentality or pre-State of Israel mentality whereas a focus on oral expression reflects a Zionist mentality in that it recognizes that Hebrew is a living, spoken language in the modern State of Israel.
Updated: Jan. 21, 2016
Israel's first science and technology preschool was inaugurated in Beersheba recently as part of a new government initiative called Madakids. Instead of puzzles, coloring sheets and learning blocks, preschoolers will be exposed to robotics, computers and space exploration. The goal of Madakids ('mada' means science in Hebrew) is to introduce scientific subject matters to young Israelis at the earliest possible age. This, administrators hope, will help produce the next generation of Israeli scientists. The Beersheba preschool is a collaboration of the American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, the Beersheba municipality, the Rashi Foundation, the Education Ministry, and the Science, Technology and Space Ministry.
Updated: Jan. 10, 2016
Gleanings is the ejournal of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary. The art and science of text study is an area in which many scholars and practitioners affiliated with The Davidson School devote their time, attention, and passion. We are particularly excited to have launched an initiative creating the first ever compendium of standards and benchmarks for the teaching of rabbinic literature through our Jewish Day School Standards & Benchmarks Project. We are honored to steward this project in partnership with leadership teams from over 15 day schools, scholars, and leaders across academic institutions and agencies throughout North America and across all denominational lines. To sit with them is to truly feel the roots in the legacy of the Jewish beit midrash! We hope you enjoy the wide array of perspectives on the topic of Jewish text study contained in this edition of Gleanings.
Updated: Jan. 06, 2016
Halacha Education Center introduces Revolutionary Curriculum for Over 1,300 Students around the World
Jewish schools throughout North America as well as in South Africa and Australia are introducing a revolutionary curriculum to their students this academic year. Over 1,300 students in over twenty schools will be using the new program designed by the Halacha Education Center (HEC). The programs designed by HEC represent a major overhaul of the classic Jewish educational experience. The HEC has taken the original sources and prime texts of Jewish law and developed new exciting, user-friendly, accessible textbooks, teacher’s guide, videos, and audio-visual material that engage the students in a deep, enjoyable and memorable fashion. The new materials are a reformatting and presentation of Judaism’s ancient laws and wisdom.
Updated: Jan. 06, 2016
Since 2007, Hebrew language charter schools – publicly-financed K-8 schools teaching Modern Hebrew to religiously, linguistically, and culturally diverse students – have emerged in cities across the United States. This article analyzes the contested notion of language ownership by exploring a set of discussions in over 75 articles in the American Jewish press about Hebrew charters. This article demonstrates how anxieties about communal production and reproduction are traceable through the circulated discourses about Hebrew learning.
Updated: Dec. 09, 2015
Critical pedagogy is conceived in the contemporary educational era as a means to help improve learning skills and abilities and thus, the scholastic achievements of students from disadvantaged groups. Yet, we know very little about the ways in which critical pedagogy is interpreted and understood in disadvantaged schools. This study seeks to examine the implementation of critical pedagogy in a secular Jewish high school in an impoverished neighborhood in Israel. The high school strives to attain scholastic achievement by instilling critical consciousness.
Updated: Dec. 09, 2015
The following research study presents data drawn from an arts-based qualitative research study from 2013. Students created artistic interpretations of biblical texts using a variety of media. One of the significant findings of the study was that learning through the arts provided students with an opportunity to take on the role of parshan, or biblical commentator. Three examples of artwork is presented and combined, they show that by taking on the role of parshan, students were able to craft original interpretations of text and develop new connections with the text. Learning in this way demonstrated the significance of integrating the arts into Bible curricula as a vehicle for developing new types of positive and educational experiences for students.
Updated: Dec. 02, 2015
In an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement, a group of Jewish day school educators, scholars of Rabbinics and education and experienced Jewish educators has begun to collaborate on a compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for the study of Rabbinics in Jewish day schools. The initiative is under the auspices of the Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The compendium will guide Jewish day schools in planning and implementing goals for rabbinic studies for their students. It is especially heartening that the group working so collaboratively represents a cross-denominational selection of schools: modern Orthodox, Conservative and Community.
Updated: Nov. 25, 2015