Friday, June 5, 2009

What it is, What it is not

Teachers in Jewish educational settings face many challenges. One of the most important is: How does what our students are learning relate to their lives outside the walls of the classroom? Do we and our students see our lives through the lens of Jewish wisdom? Does it ever occur to us, or to them, that what we are learning together for one, or two, or even six or more hours a week has any impact on how we make decisions about things that really matter? Things in our "real lives"?

The vision of these posts is to relate the two domains in which we and our students co-exist.

In linking ideas and events in the general culture with those grounded in Jewish thought we can give our students the foundation for understanding that their Jewish identity and values do in fact relate in powerful ways to the lives they live outside our direct influence.

Summer is a wonderful opportunity to think about teaching and learning without the pressure of planning lessons or worrying about classroom behaviors.

What happened this year?

What did my students learn this year that is IMPORTANT? WHY is it IMPORTANT?
What did my students learn that they will remember forever?
How do I know they learned what I think they learned?
What were some of the most successful classroom experiences we had this year?
What were some of the disasters?

Think about the questions, and come up with some answers that make sense to you. It's a great start for the upcoming year,

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” Albert Einstein

1 comment:

  1. I also have Einstein's quote in my office! I think that knowing WHAT is IMPORTANT is the key to a successful educational experience. I was reading recently about the different taxononies. Perhaps Jewish education emphasizes the cognitive taxonomies too much and does not expend enough energy on affective or performance taxonomies . . .