Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not Israel's Fault

Today's NY Times, front page article entitled "Parched Earth Where Syrian Farms Thrived"

A problem in the Middle East, and IT'S NOT ISRAEL'S FAULT!!!!!  WHAT A SHOCK!!

News Flash: No Silver Bullets in Education!!!

Everyone's talking about "Waiting for Superman", and with good reason.  I hope they will also talk about this article in the NY Times Lauded Harlem Schools Have Their Own Problems.  Here's what I think is important about both, in no particular order:

Big Ideas in Teaching and Learning

  1. Good education costs a lot of money
  2. Money alone isn't an answer
  3. Complex issues require complex approaches
  4. There is no single answer to any complicated problem
  5. There are many partial answers, and it isn't always possible to isolate the most important
  6. People who want to help have many different skill sets - all of which can and should be utilized to make things better.
These Big Ideas are crucial in general education, and no less so in the Jewish educational world.  Too often we jump on a single bandwagon expecting that what works in one context will work in all.  This simply isn't true.  We should never discourage people with a passion for good outcomes, because we can never be sure what will trigger improvement in any single situation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lech Lecha

A month's, no a year's, no again - a lifetime curriculum could certainly be built around this week's parasha, and if you are studying Torah according to the weekly schedule you surely have to pick and choose - especially since you probably have only a short time with the text.