Mandel Center preparing teachers to be students of their own practice

Center to honor a new batch of Jewish day school teachers at ceremony and research conference on July 24 and 25

2007-08 DeLeT/MAT fellows

WALTHAM, Mass. – Too few teachers are encouraged to ask questions about their own teaching practice. This is as true for Jewish day school teachers as it is for any educator. Yet asking these questions is an important way that teachers improve as professionals. That’s why when the members of the 2007-08 DeLeT (Day School Leadership Through Teaching)/MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) Program at Brandeis University mark the end of their fellowships later this month, they’ll enter their own classrooms having gone through a unique program that features ongoing, careful examination of their own teaching.

 “We believe in an ‘inquiry stance,’ in which teachers carefully examine their own work as professionals throughout their career,” said DeLeT Director Judy Elkin. “This strengthens both their individual practice and the field of Jewish education as a whole. When they begin teaching on their own, our alumni continue to reflect on how they can be better teachers, informed by their own research and that of others in the field.”

This year’s fellows will be honored on July 24 during a ceremony called “Tekkes HaSiyum: A Celebration of Completion” at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis. They will then present their original research, based on studies of their own teaching practice, at a conference the next day. This will be followed by the graduation ceremony for all Brandeis MAT students, including those with elementary and secondary Jewish day school concentrations as well as elementary and secondary public school concentrations.

“This is the first year in which DeLeT is fully integrated within the Brandeis MAT Program,” said MAT Director Dirck Roosevelt. “DeLeT’s academically rigorous, field-experience-based design has been a perfect fit alongside the other MAT concentrations.”

This year’s crop of DeLeT graduates will go on to teach at schools throughout New England and New York. In the six years of the DeLeT program, Brandeis has prepared a total of 49 day school teachers who have gone on to touch the lives of hundreds of day school students, serving as both strong Jewish role models and teachers of general and Jewish studies.

The 2008 DeLeT/MAT graduates include Shoshana Eisenberg of Newton, Mass.; Ilana Elson of West Hartford, Conn.; Sima Green of Lawrence, NY; Rivkah Horowitz, Miriam Klausner, and Alicia Reines-Leo of Sharon, Mass.; Sarah Kanigsberg of Ottawa, Ontario and St. Laurent, Quebec, Canada; and Micaela Winton of Old Field, NY.

About DeLeT/MAT
The DeLeT/MAT Program is a partnership of the Brandeis Education Program and the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education. The program prepares Jewish day school teachers for grades one through six to teach general and Judaic studies. DeLeT (Hebrew for “door”), “opens the door” to a career in Jewish day school teaching, with a mission to attract people into the field, prepare, support and retain them as teacher-leaders. DeLeT/MAT rests on a unique partnership between Brandeis University and Boston-area Jewish day schools.

About the Mandel Center
Founded in 2002 as the first academic center of its kind, the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education is dedicated to transforming the quality of teaching and learning in Jewish education by supporting practice-centered research, pioneering new models of professional development, and shaping discourse in the study and practice of Jewish education.

For more on the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education and DeLeT/MAT click here.

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