Source: Avi Chai Blog
Personalized learning seeks to increase student enthusiasm and learning by tailoring the instructional environment – what, when, how and where students learn – to address the individual needs, skills and interests of each student. We are proud that the Jewish day school field is making strides in the use of personalized learning to encourage students to take ownership of their own education while developing deep connections with one another, their teachers and other adults.
One cutting-edge example of the work to advance personalized learning in Jewish day schools began in September 2018 under the auspices of the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP), a division of the nationally-renowned New Teacher Center (NTC). JNTP is a leading organization fostering teaching excellence in Jewish day schools through teacher and principal mentoring and coaching. Since 2002, JNTP has supported 1,183 teachers with 494 mentors at 165 schools, 86% of which are still in the field of Jewish education and 72% still at the school they were in when they first participated in JNTP. The new JNTP pilot, which is funded by The AVI CHAI Foundation, aims to build on JNTP’s record of success, helping teachers to bring innovative personalized learning approaches into the classroom and serve as a leading edge in American education.
Fourteen JNTP teachers and mentors participate in the program—from the Jewish day schools Barkai Yeshivah, Ben Porat Yosef, Yeshiva Har Torah, and Yeshiva University High School for Girls. Alongside leaders and experts in the field, educators in the program explore research on social-emotional learning, brain and education science, and learner variability. During in-person and synchronous online trainings, Valerie Mitrani, JNTP Project Lead, and Lisa Mount, NTC Project Lead, focus on developing mindsets around personalized learning and introducing participants to new NTC teaching and evaluation tools. Educators then build on their learning in online peer forums. Twice during the year (January and May), mentor-teacher teams receive individualized coaching on the tools presented in the trainings. The entire JNTP staff also participates in internal training on the NTC framework and tools.
Since three of the schools are elementary schools and one is a high school, the ways personalized learning plays out may be different across the schools. Thus far, the schools have reported that the initial learning was very exciting, and they are now eager to bring practical strategies into the classrooms for the fall.
JNTP is now exploring what strategies and educational technology tools can add value, and will look to identify and develop such strategies for the benefit of the Jewish day school field. Ultimately, the plan is that the learning gained by NTC, JNTP and the four schools in the pilot will inform all of JNTP’s work with teachers, mentors, and administrators across the country.
Read more at the Avi Chai Blog.