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MIFGASHIM  November 2009

MIFGASHIM November 2009

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 103

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 12:40:57 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (187 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 103


Contents:

1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Interview with Rabbi Aytan Kadden

2.	Corrected Link for Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning Podcast

3.	Hebrew Self-Study Book and CD

4.	Marshall Memo: Collaborative Professional Learning in a Chicago School


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Interview with Rabbi Aytan Kadden

In this episode, Mark Smilowitz talks with Israel's Teacher of the Year, Rabbi Aytan 
Kadden about empowering students. 

Kadden received the prize for his work in an experimental school that seeks to bridge the 
gaps between secular and religious students. 

To listen to the episode or subscribe, go to http://www.lookstein.org/podcasts/


~~~~~~~~~


2.	Corrected Link for Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning Podcast

The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning (PJLL) changed the url link.

Here is the new and correct link to hear the podcast.

http://www.pjll.org/aimages/RSolomon_-
_Training_Jewish_Educators.lite_1257345615.mp3


Richard D. Solomon, Ph.D.
http://richarddsolomonsblog.blogspot.com/


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Hebrew Self-Study Book and CD

Teachers of modern Hebrew may be interested in a new Hebrew self-study book & CD 
ŚEnglish Hebrew by Subjectą.

It is an unprecedented tool for students to improve their vocabulary, pronunciation and 
listening comprehension, and has already had an excellent reception from students and 
teachers around the world.

You can read some testimonials, and download a sample chapter, cover and contents list 
on www.engheb.com.

The website also supplies high quality free learning resources through their email 
newsletter, and great tools in their blog.

For more information contact the publishers directly ­ [log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


4.	Marshall Memo: Collaborative Professional Learning in a Chicago School

“What my school is learning, and what current research suggests, is that teachers don’t 
improve by listening to someone tell them how to do something newer or better in their 
classrooms,” says Chicago school administrator Ross Hunefeld in this Education Week 
article. 

Why doesn’t conventional PD work?

-	In any captive audience of teachers, there are large variations in experience, 
proficiency, interests, and needs.

-	This makes it virtually impossible for a presenter to be relevant and helpful to most 
teachers.

-	Even if teachers are attentive, research shows that there’s little carry-over to 
classroom practice – the dreaded knowing/doing gap.

-	Outside experts are expensive, and those funds could be put to better use.

“Rather than hiring external presenters,” says Hunefeld, “schools can see much better 
results by putting the responsibility for, and control of, professional growth in the hands 
of their own teachers. There are few problems teachers can’t solve, and few techniques 
they can’t master, given adequate time and resources.” 

The key ingredients are time, support, and access to the Internet. Given these, teams can 
find answers in articles and studies from around the world – and can share their own 
ideas outside their school. The empowered team approach takes advantage of in-building 
expertise, gives veteran teachers a chance to be leaders, allows teams to respond to 
their own students’ needs and proceed at their own pace, and empowers them to find 
answers to questions they can’t answer immediately. 

“Experimentation with new teaching methods happens in a classroom-as-laboratory 
setting,” says Hunefeld, “so the implementation is virtually automatic.”
At Hunefeld’s school in Chicago, teacher teams began by looking at test results from the 
previous year and setting measurable learning targets for student achievement. Then 
teachers researched key areas and chose a strategy, among them:

-	Math teachers decided to improve the level of questioning in classes;

-	English teachers worked on vertical alignment of their planning;

-	Science and elective teachers began implementing reading strategies.

-	Reading teachers worked on pre-, during-, and post-reading strategies that would 
more effectively reach their students.

As they implemented their strategies, teachers looked at interim assessment results to 
measure progress and tweak the strategy. At the end of each semester, the school held a 
“share fair” in which teams shared what they had learned. The results were impressive – 
the highest student achievement in the school’s 10-year history.

Implementing the new approach was not without problems. Hunefeld has suggestions for 
schools thinking about taking this approach:

-	Try to provide the right amount of structure for teacher teams – not too much and 
not too little.

-	Take the time to do team-building activities and establish group norms up front.

-	Carve out enough time during the work day for team meetings.

-	Find efficient, informative ways of measuring student progress.

-	Continuously adjust the process based on feedback and results.

Hunefeld believes this approach to PD would change the role of outside consultants. 
“These experts are certainly important,” he says, “but in the new plan they would have to 
change how they presented their material. Increasingly, experts would respond over long 
distances, in individualized ways, to targeted groups of teachers. 

Rather than having a reading expert address an entire school staff, for instance, groups 
of teachers working on content-area reading strategies in various schools around the 
country could interact with and learn from a university-based expert via conference call, 
webinar, e-mail, or video.”

This PD approach also has implications for teacher hiring. “A new teacher willing to work 
and learn with colleagues will quickly surpass a more experienced colleague who is not 
interested in collaborating,” says Hunefeld. “Principals should take this into account as 
they look for new members to add to their teams.”

Finally, this professional development model suggests that schools of education should 
train aspiring teachers in action research and strive to produce teachers who are ready to 
direct their own PD. “Our teachers need to be as adept as our scientists at working in 
teams to uncover current knowledge in their field and pushing themselves to new 
learning,” says Hunefeld. 

“When Teachers Are the Experts: How Schools Can Improve Professional Development” 
by Ross Hunefeld in Education Week, Nov. 4, 2009 (Vol. 29, #10, p. 24-25),
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/11/04/10hunefeld.h29.html 

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. 
Individual&#8232;subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora,
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

The Center encourages you to become a paid member and
benefit for the wide variety of programming offered by the Center.
For information see http://www.lookstein.org/joinus/.

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You can search the archives at http://listserv.biu.ac.il/archives/mifgashim.html.

Check out online educational materials and information on other
Lookstein Center programs on our website at http://www.lookstein.org/.

The e-community is supported by generous grants from Evelyn and Shmuel Katz, Bal Harbour, Fl.

Further information may be obtained by writing to: [log in to unmask]

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