In Defense of Learning Lishmah

By: Mr. Jason Feld, Mr. Noam Weissman
from Shalhevet High School

Category:
Risk Taking and Failure

Subject(s) of entry:
Halacha, History, Literature, Mishnah, Music, Tanach, Jewish Philosophy, Israel Education

Pedagogy:
IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

Grade(s) to which this was taught:
11th and 12th grades

Grade(s) for which this will be useful:
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Jewish educators often approach their subjects with the same modalities and grading system that are common in General Studies classes. Rather than continue with this approach, Shalhevet attempted to design two Judaic courses that would devalue letter grades and promote more authentic and deeper student learning. We were willing to take a calculated risk and we failed. While our initial pilot missed the mark, the effort has promoted some benefits and has jumpstarted further innovation in our approach to Judaic instruction.