Interactive Text Study: A Case of Hevruta Learning

Sep. 29, 2006

Source: Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 72, Issue 3 September 2006 , pages 205 - 232


While hevruta (text study in pairs) is a traditional form of Jewish learning, it has rarely been the subject of empirical research. Building off of research on reading and interpreting literary texts and sociocultural theories of learning, the author closely analyzes transcripts and videos of students studying in hevruta at the DeleT (Day School Leadership through Teaching) Program at Brandeis University.


Through this fine grained approach, the author begins to conceptualize how interpretive conversations in hevruta unfold, focusing especially on how students develop ideas and insights and how they engage with and learn from one another.


The author concludes that when examined closely, hevruta study is a complex interaction which includes steps, moves, norms and identifiable modes of interpretative discussion.


The author proposes the need to further study this "Jewish interpretive social learning practice" in order to develop a fuller picture of text study in hevruta and expand its educative potential.

Updated: Apr. 15, 2008