- The perceived strengths and challenges of Jewish formal and informal education
- The meaning of Jewish Integrated Experiential Education
- Linking the silos of Jewish formal and informal education through technology
- The application of Jewish Integrated Experiential Education
- David A Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle and Jewish Integrated Experiential Education
- Is Jewish Integrated Experiential Education already here?
- Next steps and conclusion
Strengths of Jewish Formal Education
Challenges of Jewish Formal Education
Judaic text-based instruction
How to teach Judaic knowledge from the perspective of the learning needs \and interests of students
Focused on verbal-linguistic, visual and spatial learning
How to engage students in the other types of sensory and multi-modal learning (e.g. kinesthetic, music, intrapersonal and interpersonal and other kinds of active learning experiences)
Teacher centered instruction
How to invite student participation in the instructional and learning process
How to bring spontaneity or planned spontaneity into the learning activity
Located in a room or formal classroom setting
How to include outdoor experiential education in the learning environment
Similar to what students expect in secular education
How to make the learning experience new, refreshing, different and exciting
Lesson plans, objectives are designed by the teacher or the school to meet institutional standards
How to create lesson plans and objectives that not only meet institutional standards but also the learning needs and interests of students
Based on clearly written and stated Jewish enduring knowledge or understandings
How to help students understand the Judaic enduring knowledge or understanding that speaks to their individual needs
Emphasis on teacher-directed methods of instruction (e.g. lecture and direct instruction)
How to introduce more learner-centered or student-engaged methods of instruction (e.g. active, cooperative and problem-based learning)
Each school has a curriculum that guides instruction
How to include student interests in the creation of the curriculum
School uses standard forms of assessment ( e.g. written and verbal tests,)
How to include alternative forms of assessment to demonstrate learning (i.e. non-written assessments that include art, music, movement, role-play, and the creation of physical (e.g. posters, graphic organizers, etc.) and digital (e.g. power point presentations, movies, cartoons, multi-media presentations, etc.)
Strengths of Jewish Informal Education
Challenges of Jewish Informal Education
How to include Judaic text-based instruction
The milieu, context, location of the classroom setting (e.g. museum, nursing home, Masada) enhances the learning experience
How to infuse Jewish meaning into the experience (e.g. through instruction, reflection, etc.)
Multi-sensory learning experience
How to contextualize the event so that students internalize the enduring Jewish knowledge or understandings that are the foundation of the experience
Appears to be a unique, spontaneous and individualized experience
How to generalize the individualized experience into some project or activity that goes beyond the event
1. Judaic text-based instruction
4. Milieu (physical and cultural setting)
- Finding print material
- Locating pictures
- Researching the internet
- Emailing Israelis and Israeli institutions (e.g. Ministry of Tourism)
- Speaking to Israelis about these questions through Skype, Oovoo, Blackboard Collaborate, etc.
- Texting Israelis
- Asking students in a class in Israel to investigate these questions and report their findings
- Inviting students who will be taking a trip to Israel to answer these questions by transmitting pictures, music, video and audio recordings, power point presentations via email, Skype and apps on their mobile phones
1. Select any Jewish text (e.g. word, verse, phrase) from the Tanach, the Commentaries (e.g. Hillel, Rashi, Rambam, etc) Midrashim, one given by your teacher, or a text from one of these web resources:
Example: (Verse describing Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey) “I have descended to free them from the hand of Egypt, and to bring them up from that land to a good, spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey” Exodus, Chapter 3, Verse 8. Cited from http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0203.htm
2. Select an experiential activity from the ones listed below.
Note: This is not a complete list of experiential activities from which to choose. We invite you to add to this list of experiential activities.
3. Select a web-based Judaic product you wish to create from the ones listed below.
Note: This is not a complete list of web-based Judaic products or artifacts. We invite you to add to this list of possible Judaic artifacts and share specific examples.
- It is the traditional venue in which teacher-directed lessons and learner-centered experiential activities can take place.
- It provides the time and place for students to learn how to transform enduring Jewish knowledge (i.e. also referred to as enduring Jewish understandings) into (a) authentic experiential learning activities (i.e. write and perform a song, create and perform a role-play, do a mitzvah project, etc.) and (b) web-based Judaic products or artifacts (i.e. audio files, blogs, wikis, multi-media presentations, etc) that can be shared with others outside of the physical classroom.
- It is the most convenient educational setting to demonstrate how to implement Jewish Integrated Experiential Education. The traditional classroom can be transformed into a new learning environment for the 21st century where the teacher and his/her students in the physical classroom can create enduring Jewish knowledge with other students, teachers and experts living in distant locations around the globe.
- Stage One: Concrete Experience. The learner experiences the original event.
- Stage Two: Reflective Observation: The learner cogitates on the meaning of the original experience.
- Stage Three: Abstract Conceptualization: The learner gains a more sophisticated understanding of the meaning of the original experience which in turn, informs the next stage in the cycle, active experimentation.
- Stage Four: Active Experimentation: Given an enhanced and more nuanced understanding of the experience through abstract conceptualization, the learner tries different ways to re-create or actively experiment with the original learning experience. These active experimentations, in turn, lead to new concrete experiences.
- Stage One: Concrete Experience. The learner experiences the original Jewish event in a physical, virtual classroom or in any venue (e.g. camp, nature walk, synagogue service, Birthright trip, youth activity, etc.).
- Stage Two: Reflective Observation: The learner cogitates on the Jewish meaning of the original experience.
- Stage Three: Abstract Conceptualization: The learner gains a more sophisticated understanding of the meaning of what it means to be Jewish, which in turn, informs the next stage of the cycle, active experimentation.
- Stage Four: Active Experimentation: Given a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the original experience through abstract conceptualization, the learner is able to construct and create new Jewish experiential activities (e.g. writes about it, creates a song or rap, draws a picture or painting, etc), and even develop web-based authentic learning Judaic products or artifacts (e.g. blog, wiki, an audio file, a video, multi-media presentation, etc.). These active experimentations, in turn, lead to new concrete Jewish experiences.
Contact Person’s Email Address
Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island
Rabbi Tzvi Daum
Bi-Cultural Day School
Mrs. Yocheved Singer
United Synagogue Youth
Beth El Congregation
Ms. Janette Silverman
Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education
Dr. Gloria Becker
Temple Beth Sholom
Rabbi James Greene
Rabbi Adam Grossman