Webcases of Jewish Teaching and Learning
Teachers tend to teach in the ways that they were taught, and often are limited by their abilities to envision alternatives.
How can they expand their pedagogical horizons?
What if it were possible to visit vibrant Jewish studies classrooms across the country or across the world?
What if it were possible to see multiple models of the thoughtful teaching of parashat ha-shavua (the weekly Torah portion), or Mishnah or the book of Isaiah?
What if these visits were not just glimpses of a classroom in action, but systematic explorations of an accomplished teacher's practice, complete with reflections on her goals, insights into her planning and samples of her students' work?
The selection below highlights the many ways webcases can make visible what goes on in a classroom between a thoughtful teacher and a group of learners.
Developed during a fellowship at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
This case, about Shira's teaching at South Area Solomon Schechter Day School in Stoughton, Massachusetts, explores the question, "How can I teach Torah to young children in a way that respects the integrity of the text and the developmental and individual needs of my students?" Produced by the Mandel Center.
This case, which documents a unit of a seventh grade humanities teacher at a community day school in Palo Alto, California, explores how the teacher encourages her students to question and shape their Jewish identity within the context of her general studies curriculum.
Published online in “Shmoozing About Education,” from the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora.