Search results for: Pedagogy
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Now Rabbi Bitton and I are launching The Idea School, which will open in the 2018-19 school year in Bergen County, NJ. As a modern Orthodox, co-ed high school, our mission will be to provide students with the abilities to nurture a relationship with Hashem, live a rich halakhic life, and engage with the world in an ethically and morally responsible manner. It will also be to help students see learning as a joyful, lifelong process.
Updated: Mar. 29, 2017
The use of ethical dilemmas is a wonderful way to engage students with the rich nature of Jewish texts but of equal importance is the way they can be used to challenge them to develop critical thinking and the ability to defend a position which is reflective of their own values. There are many creative ways to present the dilemmas, many of them are presented in popular culture and then used as a platform to develop arguments for and against. Some of the potential topics that could be taught in the context of an ethical dilemmas class include: abortion, capital punishment, organ donation, allocation of scarce resources, etc. – the list is almost inexhaustible. Below I describe some sample core questions, issues and sources related to the topic of triage.
Updated: Mar. 07, 2017
Missions, Methods, and Assessment in Hebrew Language Education: Case Studies of American Jewish Day Schools
This research consists of three case studies conducted within American Jewish day schools (JDSs). Addressing some of the issues pointed to by past researchers, this investigation focuses on the following discrete areas of Hebrew language (HL) programs: the stated visions for Hebrew language learning as noted in the mission statements and other documents of the schools and as articulated by teachers and administrators, the methodologies employed by Hebrew and Jewish Studies educators within these institutions, and the assessment practices employed by these schools and educators to determine whether the expressed goals of these programs are being met. By exploring the missions, methods, and assessment processes within these Hebrew language programs, and contrasting these aspects of the schools, we come to a better understanding of the inner workings of these programs and the issues that may be addressed in practice and future research.
Updated: Jan. 04, 2017
The Education and Diaspora Affairs Ministries plan to spend as much as 136 million shekels ($35.8 million) over the next four years to develop programs for Jewish schools overseas, the first time Israel has engaged in such a big educational undertaking in diaspora schools. The two ministries, which are both led by Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, plan to develop programs on Israel, the Hebrew language and Jewish history as well as provide schools with expert advice, teacher training and pedagogical services. Initially the program will be offered to 65 Jewish schools in Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Updated: Dec. 14, 2016
Over the past couple of years, I have taught second-year rabbinical students at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah the pedagogy of teaching Talmud and other rabbinic texts. This experience has prompted me to ask whether there is any difference between training rabbis and non-rabbis to teach rabbinic texts. What distinct dynamics are present, of which my students should be made aware, when a rabbi teaches a rabbinic text? In order to explore this question, and as part of a broader theoretical and empirical study of Talmud pedagogy, I recently conducted interviews with several American Talmud and rabbinics educators (of different denominational affiliations) who have taught in rabbinical schools. I asked, “What is different about teaching Talmud pedagogy to future rabbis, as opposed to non-rabbis?” Their responses, presented below, provide useful self-reporting of how they conceptualize their teaching practice in the context of rabbinical school.
Updated: Dec. 08, 2016
The teaching and learning of Modern Hebrew outside of Israel is essential to Jewish education and identity. One of the most contested issues in Modern Hebrew pedagogy is the use of code-switching between Modern Hebrew and learners’ first language. Moreover, this is one of the longest running disputes in the broader field of second language research and education. Based on recent conceptualizations of bi/multilingualism together with findings from an empirical investigation of beginner students at an Australian university, this article argues that strategic use of code-switching serves the needs of both learners and teachers working within a bi/multilingual educational environment.
Updated: Nov. 16, 2016
Welcome to the first Prizmah edition of HaYidion! Collaboration is a natural theme to begin this new issue of HaYidion, under the auspices of Prizmah. The merger of the five organizations has unleashed creative energies, surprising synergies, and the sense of tremendous promise in the ways that we can collaborate with each other and the thousands of day school stakeholders. HaYidion itself is of course a collaboration, representing the remarkable generosity of dozens of day school stakeholders and other contributors who are willing to share their knowledge, experiences, initiatives and insights for the benefit of the larger field of Jewish education. Articles in this issue demonstrate an eagerness to embrace new educational paradigms, to rethink the foundations of day school education and revamp programs in ways large and larger, to dream big and do the patient work to follow through.
Updated: Nov. 16, 2016
Accentuate the Positive: The Influence of Kurt Lewin’s ‘Bringing Up the Jewish Child’ on Postwar American Jewish Life
This article contributes new insights into German-Jewish psychologist Kurt Lewin’s work and its considerable influence on American Jewish educational theory and practice since the 1940s. Though he died in 1947, Lewin’s theories about the emotional needs of the Jewish child and the principles of effective Jewish education continued to influence American Jewish pedagogy long after his passing. Lewin, a social psychologist who fled Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and eventually landed at MIT, argued for the importance of inculcating a notion of “group belongingness,” or attachment to the Jewish social group, in the Jewish child as a critical factor in his or her healthy emotional development.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
The Characteristics and Practices of Long-term Adult Jewish Learners: New Perspectives on the Dynamics of an Adult Classroom
Within the larger domain of adult Jewish learners there is a smaller cohort that continues to study regularly over the course of many years. They have stayed motivated to learn until a point where the study itself becomes part of their lives and regular practice. As a result of their experience these long-term learners have a tremendous amount to say about what makes the learning important to them, how it took hold, and how it affects their lives. This dissertation is a qualitative study of these learners, drawing from their reflections to portray their day-to-day experiences in the classroom.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
What Really Matters in Synagogue Education? Comparing an Alternative Program Model and a Conventional School Model
This study is an in-depth examination of two synagogue education programs, one a conventional “Hebrew School” structure and the other an alternative program modeled after Jewish summer camp. Through the lens of the teaching of Bible to children in the Grade 3-5 age range, I provide thick descriptions of an alternative and a successful conventional congregational supplementary education program and compare them in order to gain insight into what distinguishes the two models, where they are similar and the impact these similarities and differences might have on the proliferation and/or staying power of one or the other type of models. The programs are presented as case studies organized according to four domains of curricular function: the educating institution, the educational leadership, the teacher (or unit head) and the observed classroom/camp session. How do the organizations or individuals associated with each of these domains understand the teaching of Bible in their respective program structures? In what ways does the programmatic structure influence the choice of content knowledge and pedagogy?
Updated: Nov. 02, 2016