Practical Pedagogy for the Jewish Classroom: Classroom Management, Instruction, and Curriculum Development

Practical Pedagogy for the Jewish Classroom: Classroom Management, Instruction, and Curriculum Development

Practical Pedagogy for the Jewish Classroom: Classroom Management, Instruction, and Curriculum Development

Practical Pedagogy for the Jewish Classroom: Classroom Management, Instruction, and Curriculum Development

Synopsis

Jewish Studies classrooms are legendary for their lack of discipline; Jewish schools of all formats are hard-pressed to find qualified teachers; and the quality of Jewish Studies curricula is lacking. Practical Pedagogy for the Jewish Classroom encourages Jewish professionals in education to review their own practices in these areas and challenges them to re-imagine and develop their own unique approach to teaching Jewish Studies so that they can articulate and implement their own visions of Jewish education.

Excerpt

"The other kids are horrible, the teacher is a fool, and it's a waste of time anyway because I don't learn anything." This is the typical response of many Jewish teenagers when it comes to describing their experiences in Hebrew school/Sunday school/Hebrew high school/Jewish day school. Students know best what the deficiencies of Jewish education are--classroom management, the caliber of the teachers, and the quality of curricula. Unless we address these issues, all of the money and effort currently being devoted to Jewish education will be wasted. How did we get into this situation?

In 1990, the National Jewish Population Survey ignited a debate in the American Jewish community about the survival and future of Jews in this country. The results, which were well publicized (as well as disputed), revealed tremendous assimilation, alienation, and intermarriage within the American Jewish community. These findings sparked a renewed interest in Jewish education in the United States. This commitment to Jewish continuity has been translated directly into support for Jewish education. Synagogues are spending more money on their informal and Hebrew high school programs, Jewish Federations are vastly increasing their efforts to boost teen tours of Israel, and many organization are working to improve the Jewish day school movement. Orthodox days schools are more popular than ever; and in addition to the Reform, Conservative, and communal full-time Jewish day schools that were already in existence, the number of . . .

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