Our research explores how children comprehend texts. Using sacred texts as a case study, we investigate what children do when they read and discuss sacred texts, how they talk about them with their teachers and classmates, and what interpretations they offer.

Sacred texts have been studied across millennia in almost every context imaginable. Therefore, they offer unique opportunities to explore how people, starting from a young age, read closely. Our research generates insights not only for educators who teach sacred texts, but also for the broader community of literacy educators.

News and Updates

Read the Article “First and Second Conversations: Remote Learning and Interpretive Boundaries”

In SCRoLL Lab's first inaugural year, we embarked on teacher-research in a remote classroom. Learn about our findings for the broader educational world in our article in The Reading Teacher journal - July 20, 2022.

Listen to the Podcast “What is the Status of Text and Literacy in a Digital Age?”

Professor Ziva Hassenfeld discusses research conducted by SCRoLL Lab on Online Jewish Education on the NRJE podcast, Opening Doors, with Josh Krug and Sara Wolkenfeld - June 7, 2022.

Listen to the Podcast What We Learned From Online Learning

Professor Ziva Hassenfeld discusses research conducted by SCRoLL Lab on Online Jewish Education on Prizmah's podcast, Research Corner, with Elliot Rabin and veteran educators Aviv Matzkin and Michal Bessler - November 17, 2021.

Prof. Ziva Hassenfeld stands in a conference room addressing a group of her student researchers sitting around a table. All are wearing masks.

SCRoLL Lab in action - fall 2021.

  • Prof. Ziva Hassenfeld and a teacher sit outside at a picnic table. They are looking at a laptop screen.

    Truly fun to work on the Science of Reading: Tanakh project with these amazing day school educators and Brandeis students - summer 2021.

  • A laptop screen showing a Zoom meeting in progress with teachers and student researchers.

    Truly fun to work on the Science of Reading: Tanakh project with these amazing day school educators and Brandeis students - summer 2021.