When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Problem-Based Model of Teaching.
In today’s post we will explore how the Problem-Based Model of Teaching might be used when instructing content in these seven Judaic subject areas: the Tanach, tefilah, history, Hebrew, the chagim, and the middot.
Sample Content Applications for the Problem-Based Model of Teaching
Sample Inquiry Question/s
Select any story, person, event, parsha, or commentary in the Tanach, such as the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau, and pose one or more essential questions; What does this story tell us about others and ourselves? How has this story been depicted in the culture (i.e. literature, music, art, psychology, sociology, history, etc.)?
Why do Jewish people pray? Are there different kinds of Jewish prayer?
How have the Jewish people contributed to the civilization of the world?
In what ways has the language of Hebrew contributed to Jewish culture? (e.g. language, art, music, history, literature, etc.)
Select any holiday, for example Passover, and ask these questions: How is Pesach celebrated in different parts of Klal Israel? Is there Passover art, music, food, literature (e.g. Haggadot), etc.?
How can we celebrate the culture of Israel?
Select any middah, for example, ‘taking care of your body’. (Shmirat HaGuf), and ask what does this middah mean? Share examples of the meaning of this middah in writing, art, music, and movement, etc.
On the next post we will begin a new topic: instructional strategies to reach all students.
 These questions may also be termed essential questions.