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Courses

Delet is a 13 month program with many courses packed into a rich and carefully designed curriculum. Our courses are divided into five themes: core teaching seminar, field studies, subject area pedagogy, knowledge of students, and Jewish studies and experience. View the Year at a Glance to see how the courses fit into these categories. For detailed class schedules and other Delet events, visit the calendar.

Summer I

Fall

Spring

Summer II

Summer I Courses

NEJS 210b Teaching Texts
Utilizing a variety of orientations to Torah interpretation, we will engage in an analysis of key Torah stories and narratives. Each core episode will reveal a variety of ways to read and interpret Torah, and through these, we will begin to integrate the concept of multiple meanings and truths (shivim panim la-Torah). Through this process, we will begin to untangle the range of responses regarding authorship and sacredness of Torah, as well as engaging with and reflecting upon our own particular beliefs regarding the Torah and identities as learners of Torah. Our exploration will be centered around the theme of questioning as integral to Torah and Jewish learning.

ED 264a.2 Foundations of Education
This seminar is the first segment of a year-long course on teaching, learning, and learning to teach in Jewish day schools. In this segment, we will begin the study of the teacher's role in creating an environment that fosters learning for students. We will start by focusing closely on the dynamics of learning, looking at your own learning experiences and those of others (including children) as well as the insights from texts that are foundational to the field of education. We will also develop skills for observing and interpreting classrooms, giving attention to how teachers can excite and encourage students through the varied means available, including their own interactions with students, their approaches to subject matter, and their construction of classroom settings that both nourish individuals and create community. We will cultivate our own professional learning community through participation as colleagues in the class and in the DeLet community.

ED 262 Teaching Mathematics
Teaching Mathematics focuses on the content strands prospective elementary mathematics teachers will be expected to teach, from a more advanced standpoint. Participants will examine patterns and functions; number systems; number theory; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division algorithms (both standard and invented); rational numbers; and geometric properties. Each of these content areas will be explored from a problem-solving perspective, as participants immerse themselves in the doing of mathematics. In addition, the course will emphasize and model appropriate pedagogy for teaching mathematics in the elementary grades. A complementary focus for each of the sessions is the exploration of how mathematical ideas are learned, concentrating on research in teaching and learning, appropriate pedagogy, classroom culture, and discourse. 

ED107 Teaching and Learning Reading
This course focuses on the process learners go through as they become literate as well as the critical role teachers play in developing literacy. We will develop an understanding of how children develop positive attitudes towards reading, use their understanding of oral language to connect to the printed word, develop phonological and phonemic awareness and construct meaning from text. Teaching strategies that are emphasized in this course include: how to assess word recognition, fluency and comprehension, how to use assessment to inform reading instruction, how to provide instruction in phonological awareness and phonics, and how to plan and develop differentiated instruction within a balanced literacy model. An exciting part of this course will be the opportunity to work with elementary age students in a local public school as you put theories into practice and support children as they learn to master the reading process.

The Creative Process: From Personal to Educational, Part I
Delet students are challenged to turn their ideas into a visual works. Students are more and less comfortable with using art supplies to express their ideas.  This is a model for classroom teachers in differentiation – how their future students can express their concepts in varied ways and using other media. Each DeLet student zeros in on a personal motivation and designs and creates an art project.  Motivations include personal stories, Judaic themes, and inspiring concepts. Art projects include sculpture, mixed media, paintings and drawings. Delet students from both cohorts arrange and display their art pieces.  An important part of art is for other people to see, appreciate and understand the work.

Beit Midrash (House of Studyfor Teachers
Beit Midrash for Teachers is a weeklong component of the Foundations of Education course. This module is designed around the following three main purposes: to explore and engage with ideas in Jewish texts about teaching and learning; to explore havruta (paired study) learning as a form of Jewish learning; and to explore elements of good text study. 

Makom Kadosh (Holy Place)
Makom Kadosh is the spiritual development component of Delet, a year-long experience with 4 distinct but connected segments. Makom Kadosh offers students an opportunity to think about what they, as individuals and as teachers, bring to the prayer experience. Delet students explore the themes of tefilla in relation to their own Jewish journeys as preparation for thinking about how to make tefillah meaningful for their students. Makom Kadosh borrows from many genres  (tefillot, Hasidic stories, children’s literature, art, and modern writings on spirituality in education) to create a picture of what sacred space can be. Experiential activities, journaling and discussion of prayers and other texts help Delet students extend their understanding of what it takes to create sacred space for themselves and for their students. 

Fall Courses

ED267a Fundamentals of Teaching
As the name suggests, it is a place for us to work together on developing your stance, philosophy and practice as a beginning day school teacher. The subject matter of the course is teaching and learning to teach in Jewish day schools. This year long course is designed to help you develop a beginning practice as a day school teacher; develop the tools and disposition to learn in and from teaching; explore the meaning and enactment of ambitious professional standards; experience the value of learning with and from colleagues; document and study your progress and learning. We will be exploring ideas such as creating cultures of learning, the context of teaching, how careful observation of children and teachers can lead to improved practice, and how to plan for teaching.

ED265 Jewish Day School Internship
Supervised teaching internship designed to help connect theory and practice. Students gradually build proficiency in teaching, adding responsibilities and skills over time. Students have guided opportunities to observe, plan, and teach core subjects, to manage classrooms, to get to know students and families, and to participate fully in the life of the school. Interns receive regular mentoring from school and university personnel.

ED157b Psychology of Student Learning
How do children learn? Topics in this survey course include models of learning, cognitive and social development, creativity, intelligence, character education, motivation, complex reasoning, and learning disabilities. Course methods include contemporary research analyses, case studies, group projects, short lectures, and class discussions

Moshe Rabbeinu – The Journey of a Leader
In this course, students will follow Moses’ path from childhood orphan to national leader and teacher. Through a close study of the text, we will trace his development through various significant experiences in his life that impacted the individual he becomes. Erik Erikson taught that one’s identity continues to develop throughout adulthood as the individual faces and negotiates challenges. As we study Moses’ emergence as leader and teacher, we will explore the idea of leadership through teaching, making connections to both our professional and personal lives.

Teaching Torah
A core goal of Jewish education is to spark in students a desire to engage in Torah study throughout their lives.  In order for this to happen children must experience Torah learning as profound, important and engaging.  The overarching goal of this course is to help Delet students find ways to design and provide the type of Torah learning experiences that will speak to their students in this way.  As part of the course students will consider their own relationship to Torah study as well as learn the key tools needed to create high quality and meaningful Torah study learning opportunities for their students.  As part of the course students will lead Torah study for their peers, observe teachers as they engage in teaching Torah and design and implement a Torah lesson for their students. 

Spring Courses

ED267a Fundamentals of Teaching
As the name suggests, it is a place for us to work together on developing your stance, philosophy and practice as a beginning day school teacher. The subject matter of the course is teaching and learning to teach in Jewish day schools. This year long course is designed to help you develop a beginning practice as a day school teacher; develop the tools and disposition to learn in and from teaching; explore the meaning and enactment of ambitious professional standards; experience the value of learning with and from colleagues; document and study your progress and learning. We will be exploring ideas such as creating cultures of learning, the context of teaching, how careful observation of children and teachers can lead to improved practice, and how to plan for teaching.

ED265 Jewish Day School Internship
Supervised teaching internship designed to help connect theory and practice. Students gradually build proficiency in teaching, adding responsibilities and skills over time. Students have guided opportunities to observe, plan, and teach core subjects, to manage classrooms, to get to know students and families, and to participate fully in the life of the school. Interns receive regular mentoring from school and university personnel.

NEJS 235b Philosophy of Jewish Education
What should Jewish education be? What are its legitimate goals? What are the competing visions of an educated Jew, and how do these influence educational practice? How is Jewish education similar to and different from other kinds of religious education? This course addresses these and other questions from a philosophical perspective, through the close reading and analysis of theoretical texts.

Teaching Holidays and Israel
This course is designed to help you engage in the work of integrating subject matter and pedagogic content using the Jewish year and Israel as our focal point.  We will explore aspects of subject matter related to the Jewish year and to Israel both in terms of your personal relationship to the topics and in order to determine what aspects of the subject are necessary, appropriate and/or resonant for your students. We will look at how Jewish holidays are a map for traveling in Jewish time, how teaching Jewish holidays for understanding requires careful attention to the meaning of Jewish holidays in the lives of our students and their families, how Israel is core to Jewish identity, and how teaching “Israel” can enable students to incorporate a relationship with Israel into their Jewish identity.

Summer II Courses

ED 260a Special Education: Teaching for Inclusion
This course examines the diversity of learning needs and the particular characteristics of students with disabilities. The course also stresses the critical examination of a range of modifications and strategies to facilitate the inclusion of diverse learners in a classroom. Students in this course will also become familiar with Federal and State mandates regarding special education.  IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) and Teacher Assessment Forms recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will be analyzed, case studies discussed and a repertoire of strategies assembled.

ED266 Teacher Research
This course is intended for graduating MAT candidates and is conducted as a collaborative teacher research workshop. Students bring research materials they have gathered during their internship experience (e.g. video and audio recordings, reflective journal entries, student work, surveys) to class in order to consider and reflect upon them individually, in pairs, and as a group. As analysis proceeds, students generate different forms of syntheses, such as charts, diagrams and memo drafts, to present and review. The course culminates in a graduation day presentation of each student’s resulting findings, conclusions, and continuing questions.

ED221 Classroom Culture
Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results. John Dewey
The above quote is the theme behind how this course is taught. It is not a lecture course. It is a course where students practice what they pr.. teach. Their final assessment/project is a binder made to order for their year ahead. In it will be systems, schedules, set-up and materials, yearlong themes, lessons and letters to families and students so when they get started they’re ready. The course will look at methods for building an empathetic classroom community from the moment their year begins until the last few minutes of school. They’ll look at meetings, teams and poetry. They’ll play the Fib game, do CHAT (Come, Have A Talk), and write metaphors that match their experience of heading into teaching. They will consider what research has to say about the best environment for learning and what kind of environment will help them learn best in this course.

The Creative Process: From Personal to Educational, Part II
DeLet students are challenged to turn their ideas into a visual works. Students are more and less comfortable with using art supplies to express their ideas.  This is a model for classroom teachers in differentiation – how their future students can express their concepts in varied ways and using other media. As DeLet students find their teaching placements, they think about the classroom environment. Potential teachers are asked to define a specific educational concept to create a visual display as a way to communicate with their future students. Projects include banners, posters and interactive artwork. DeLet students from both cohorts arrange and display their art pieces. An important part of art is for other people to see, appreciate and understand the work.

Makom Kadosh (Holy Place), Part II
Makom Kadosh is the spiritual development component of Delet, a year-long experience with 4 distinct but connected segments. Makom Kadosh offers students an opportunity to think about what they, as individuals and as teachers, bring to the prayer experience. Delet students explore the themes of tefilla in relation to their own Jewish journeys as preparation for thinking about how to make tefillah meaningful for their students. Makom Kadosh borrows from many genres  (tefillot, Hasidic stories, children’s literature, art, and modern writings on spirituality in education) to create a picture of what sacred space can be. Experiential activities, journaling and discussion of prayers and other texts help Delet students extend their understanding of what it takes to create sacred space for themselves and for their students.