According to *Wiggins and McTighe (1998) in order to decide what (Judaic) knowledge should be taught in school, the following three categories or priorities of knowledge should be determined.
First priority: Knowledge that is enduring. essential information that students must know.
Second priority: Knowledge that is important, but not essential for students to know.
Third priority: Knowledge with which students should be familiar.
A graphic organizer of the three different types of knowledge appears at the top of this post.
In our opinion it is the responsibility of the Jewish Professional Learning Communityincluding the rabbi, the school director, the teaching staff, the parents, in conjunction with the Central Jewish Educational Agency or Board of Jewish Education, and with the input of other Jewish educational institutions of the various Jewish movements ( e.g. the Association of Modern Orthodox Day Schools, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Union of Reform Judaism, and the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation) who should determine what is enduring Jewish knowledge, important Jewish knowledge, and knowledge with which an educated Jewish person should be familiar.
Now here are a few questions for you to ponder.
1. What is enduring Jewish knowledge from your perspective?
2. Where specifically can a mentor or a teacher find enduring Jewish knowledge?
3. Is all Jewish knowledge enduring?
4. What is not enduring Jewish knowledge?
I welcome your answers to any and all of these questions.
* Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
In our next post we will begin to describe what constitutes enduring Jewish knowledge from the perspective of several different Jewish educational institutions.