Columbia University Developed ‘Interaction’ Literacy Model Helping Ethiopian Students Thrive in Israeli Schools

Published: 
January 8, 2013

Source: The Jewish Week

 

Michele Chabin writes about a Columbia University-developed teaching method which is used for promoting literacy in schools with high numbers of Ethiopian-Israeli students. The program encourages children to read and write at every opportunity. Students progress at their own pace, with the help of their teacher and the school’s literacy coach.

She writes:
"Three years ago, Netzach Yisrael joined a program run by the Israel Center for Educational Innovation (ICEI), in partnership with the Steering Center for Ethiopian Immigrants in the Education System, which promotes literacy in schools with high numbers of Ethiopian-Israeli students. And the partnership is beginning to bear fruit.

As a group, Ethiopian students perform at the very bottom of standardized tests, said Don Futterman, ICEI’s director as well as Israel program director for the Moriah Fund, which helps fund the center. Most come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and, in many cases, their parents can’t help them with schoolwork because they don’t read Hebrew or even, in many cases, Amharic, the official national language of Ethiopia.

Anchored in the prize-winning Reading and Writing Project developed at Teacher’s College at Columbia University, the Israel-based program has brought sweeping changes to the 17 schools, and 3,000 students, taking part in it.

While the desire to educate and, in so doing, narrow the gaps between Ethiopian immigrants and other Israelis both in school and in life is the impetus behind the program, non-Ethiopian classmates benefit as well."

Read more about the project in The Jewish Week.

Updated: Feb. 03, 2013
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