Monday, December 6, 2010
The inside view
I like reading anything that has to do with education in any form. There is certainly plenty written on the subject. But one of the most meaningful ways to learn about education is by getting the inside view, either by seeing things through the educator's eyes or through the eyes of the educatees that experienced it first hand. I have learned a lot from biographies of master educators and from their students' recollections of them but I always feel that I wish that there was more and in more detail. For example, I wish I could get my hands on the notes and the curriculums of the original beis yaakov schools, if such things existed. I wish there was access to this kind of things for Jewish educators. The other day though I got my wish. In a local book gemach, a private lending library, I found a book called Jewish Religious Education by Dr. Solomon Schonfeld of Shefford, Secondary Jewish Schools and Holocaust Rescue fame. Now I love books and especially old books but sometimes you get something that just knocks your socks off, it's so amazing. This book is just a gem. I am going to have a really hard time returning it when time comes. I am in love:) It's a handbook for Jewish teachers and parents with actual curriculums both Jewish and secular designed for day schools to promote Jewish Religious education from elementary age to high school for Anglo Jewery. This book was published in 1943 so obviously some things need to be updated but it gives a wonderful framework on how to teach things, it also has essays by Dr. Schonfeld which are of historical and educational significance. It is just so special to be able to get into the mind and thought processes of an individual of such stature that it really gives one a whole new perspective on Jewish education. One gets not only the mechanics and the methodology but one gets the soul that animates it. I feel really blessed and inspired.