Schooling a Minority: The Case of Havruta Paired Learning


Source: Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: Studies of Migration, Integration, Equity, and Cultural Survival, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2013, 149-163


Educational institutions serving minority communities of myriad varieties face the challenge of enculturation into the minority traditions in ways that avoid reification of those traditions, on the one hand, while attending to the surrounding majority culture, on the other. This article explores the practices found in one such context, Talmud study at a religious Jewish Israeli high school.


Analysis of paired havruta learning uncovers activity-centered learning in which language and context are key features. A new concept, epistemic appropriation, is proposed in interpretation of this data. This research exemplifies the successful grounding of cultural traditions in linguistic and epistemological practices while raising important questions regarding the feasibility and desirability of analogous enactments in other minority, Indigenous, or religious educational contexts.

Updated: Jul. 30, 2013