Strengthening Research on the Pedagogy of Jewish Studies: Introduction to a Suite of Articles on Teaching Bible

From Section:
Formal Education
Jan. 15, 2008

Source: Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 74, Issue 1 January 2008 , pages 3 – 5


The three research papers included in this suite share a number of obvious features, as well as some others that may be less obvious. The most obvious common feature is that all three articles are studies of the teaching of Bible. And all three study the teaching of Bible within Jewish educational settings, at least in part. Cousens, Morrison, and Fendrick study a Reform adult Jewish educational program. Tanchel studies a pluralistic Jewish high school. My own article offers a comparison of teaching by one instructor in two different settings, an adult Jewish educational program and a nonsectarian university.

In addition, and also quite obviously, all three of the papers focus on a particular approach to the teaching and learning of Bible, an approach that is sometimes called "historical-critical" and that Barry Holtz has helpfully labeled the "contextual orientation".

It is significant, then, that all three articles in the suite focus on the contextual orientation - but it is even more significant that they can be seen as participating in, and contributing to, a research tradition on the teaching of Bible. Collectively, they pick up an idea introduced by Holtz and move it forward, implicitly creating new opportunities for research by others who will study other contexts, raise new questions, and identify new challenges. Hence the title of this brief introduction: "Strengthening research on the pedagogy of Jewish studies."



Holtz, B. (2003) Teaching the Bible in theory and practice. JTSA Press , New York

Shulman, L. (1986) Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Education Researcher 15 , pp. 4-14.

Updated: Feb. 07, 2017
Bible studies | Contextual orientation | Introduction | Jewish education | North America | Pedagogy