Rethinking the “School” in Day School

Winter, 2011

Source: HaYidion, Winter, 2011


Jonathan Woocher examines what constitutes success for today's day schools and what should constitute success to for our students as 21st century learners and as 21st century Jews. He indicates that what is needed is a far-reaching reconception of the nature of school, one less aligned with the strictures of American success and more aligned with Jewish culture and values and a larger vision of educational excellence.


He concludes:

"So, in the end, the issue is not, I believe, bringing more informal education into day schools or doing a better job integrating the multiple modalities and contexts for learning that exist. Both of these are desiderata, but not as ends in themselves, nor as the core of the change that is called for today. The central question is whether Jewish day schools are ready to advocate for and implement a different philosophy of learning than the one that dominates public educational discourse today. Because they are private and because they are Jewish, day schools have a unique opportunity to go down a different path, one that defines, pursues, and measures excellence in ways more compatible with the interests of both students and society—and with the values of Jewish tradition. We can still celebrate the success of our students in the great American college sweepstakes. But we’ll do so knowing they’re prepared not only for success on the academic playing field, but in life."


See the full article at HaYidion.

Updated: May. 13, 2012