Search results for: Hassenfeld Ziva R.
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This study set out to design and implement an approach to Tanakh education that would help students become expert decoders of the Biblical Hebrew text as they became expert interpreters of it. The goal, following existing, research-based best instructional practices from literacy, was to create a curriculum in which language skills and meaning making were intimately connected. This paper describes the curriculum and its implementation.
Updated: Oct. 02, 2019
A Sacred Language or the Language of the Bible: A Curricular Study of Jewish Hebrew Bible Instruction
This curriculum studies article uncovers how ideological commitments often, without acknowledgment, determine instruction. Through a comparison of two popular Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) curricula, both focused on the same subject, one emerging out of a fundamentalist religious worldview and the other a progressive, modernist religious worldview, curricular nuances are explored and theorized. Ultimately, this article argues that small differences in instruction serve to shape radically different conceptions of religious activity.
Updated: Aug. 06, 2019
Studying Sacred Texts as a Pathway to Positive Youth Development: Middle School Students Read Hebrew Bible
In many religious education classrooms, the meaning of a sacred text is treated as something stable and authoritative. A teacher’s job is to transmit that meaning to students. This study reports on a year-long intervention conducted in a seventh grade Hebrew Bible classroom in which students were asked to find their own meaning in the biblical text. The study found that religious text classrooms can offer a unique opportunity to support positive youth development when an effective interpretive community is created.
Updated: Jul. 17, 2019
The Challenge of Professional Development in Jewish Studies: Why the Conventional Wisdom may not be Enough
This article examines the ways that Jewish studies teachers think about their teaching. It analyzes data from a three month teacher study group in which teachers read educational research articles as a framework for reflecting on their own teaching.
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019
This article offers a conceptual framework for understanding the diversity of pedagogies found in Talmud classrooms. It looks at how two different Orthodox Talmud teachers responded to an academic article about constructivist learning practices in the context of a professional development program. The case study presented in this article helps to illuminate Lev Vygotsky’s theory of learning.
Updated: Oct. 08, 2018
Putting Students Front and Center in the Hebrew Bible Classroom: Inquiry-Oriented Pedagogy in the Orthodox and Liberal Classroom
Inquiry-oriented pedagogy is a difficult pedagogy to enact in the classroom. By placing students’ questions and textual ideas at the center, the teacher opens the door to unanticipated and sometimes off-the-wall comments in text discussion. And yet, research has shown that it is exactly this type of pedagogy that leads to increased engagement and comprehension. This study examines two elementary school Hebrew Bible teachers’ enactment of inquiry-oriented pedagogy. It explores how one pedagogy can look very different in different contexts and the contrasting motivations teachers hold.
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018
Teaching Sacred Texts in the Classroom: The Pedagogy of Transmission and the Pedagogy of Interpretive Facilitation
Empirical research in Jewish education has found almost exclusive use of transmission pedagogy among Jewish studies teachers. This study hoped to fill out the empirical landscape by studying Jewish studies teachers who prioritize student-driven interpretation. It followed six Jewish studies teachers in four different Jewish elementary schools who all professed a commitment to student-driven textual interpretation. It found that in such classrooms there was a clear pattern of teaching moves. This article offers a detailed portrait of the previously undocumented Jewish studies pedagogy, interpretive facilitation.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2017
This spring, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University will bring together a group of scholars and practitioners of elementary Tanakh education and the broader field of literacy education to begin formulating a pedagogical vision for Tanakh education. Over the course of two days, in dialogue with renowned literacy scholar Claude Goldenberg, we will ask, “How do we help students become independent readers of Tanakh? What instructional practices and pedagogies best promote these various facets of reading comprehension?” Beginning this conversation is an important next step to building a unified educational culture across the landscape of North American day schools. While the roster for this small conference is now fixed, we look forward to sharing the insights of this conference with the larger community.
Updated: Apr. 05, 2017
Many believe that being a great Jewish educator is, above all, about being a passionate and spiritual Jew. But decades of education research have shown that good teachers are made, not born. Ultimately, an inspiring Jewish journey can only take an educator so far. The best Jewish educators need to have deep knowledge of how to teach as well.
Updated: Feb. 13, 2017
Reading Sacred Texts in the Classroom: The Alignment Between Students and Their Teacher’s Interpretive Stances When Reading the Hebrew Bible
This study investigated the voices of students interpreting Hebrew Bible texts in one fourth-grade classroom. Through think-alouds on the Biblical text with each student, exit interviews, teacher interviews, and classroom observations, this study found that those students whose interpretive stances were more aligned with the teacher’s were given greater voice in classroom text discussions than students whose interpretive stances were misaligned. Drawing on neo-Vygotskian education theory, I argue that Jewish educators need to take students’ interpretive stances seriously; attempting to force students into an interpretive framework that is set by the teacher will only undermine student learning and engagement.
Updated: Mar. 30, 2016