Teachers as Learners and Practitioners: Shifting Teaching Practice through Havruta Pedagogy

October-December, 2014

Source: Religious Education Vol. 109 No. 5, p 507-525, 2014


This study presents the cases of two teachers in a Jewish supplementary school whose experiences as learners in a year-long professional development (PD) program shaped their teaching practice. The PD program, based in a theory of havruta text learning, immersed the faculty in the very pedagogy they were being encouraged to use in their teaching and gave them tools to enact it to meet their classroom learning goals.


In one case, the teacher learned to share “control” and give students a direct encounter with biblical texts; in another case, the teacher supported students to engage in interpretive play with the text. This study demonstrates the potential of the pedagogy of havruta learning to harness the religious educator's role as both learner and teacher and how the continuity between these roles can affect teaching practice in multiple ways.

Updated: Nov. 19, 2014