Whether you teach adults or upper-level students in a classroom setting, the presentation of the Sabbath, High Holy Days and Festivals; Kashrut, Tzitzit and Tefillin; and Studies in the Weekly Torah Reading -- provides an exciting, stimulating, challenging, and inspiring learning experience for your participants.
As the co-author of a recent study of curriculum for the Lookstein Center at Bar Ilan University (O.E. Schremer & S. Bailey, Curriculum: Real Teachers in Focus --A study in Jewish Education. 2001), we found that teachers tend to formulate their classroom curriculum based on the way they were taught by their teachers and on the materials they have gathered over the years. The positive side of this finding is that teachers tend to teach what interests them in the manner they were taught. The negative side is that this teaching approach and choice of material is often idiosyncratic, inconsistent and sometimes incompatible with the interests of the students or the school philosophy.
Curriculum research has noted that text-based learning, presented in a challenging way with questions raised from the text and answers sought in the text and context (language, structure, symbolism), provides the means through which students, at all levels of knowledge, can relate to the material and participate in the analysis, discussion and learning experience. Students emerge from the learning experience not only with basic knowledge of texts but also with a sense of understanding and meaning inherent in the material learned.
The methodology of teaching I use in these books is the following: introduction to the topic, presentation of texts in the original Hebrew and in accurate, but user-friendly, English translation, presentation of questions arising from the text, study of Biblical context of the subject and language, and finally, integration of concepts and ideas into a coherent explanation of the Jewish ritual under investigation.
This is a logical, step-by-step, orderly presentation that students can follow easily, with frequent summaries and guidance toward the final conclusions about the inherent meaningfulness of the Jewish practice under study.
Teachers, using these volumes as a textbook or a Teacher’s Guide, will find that students (or adults) will enjoy the journey into text study and analysis, the decoding of language and symbolism, the focus on human nature and the coherent integration of ideas into a final summary of the meaningfulness of the topic under investigation. Through these volumes, both you and your students will gain a profound appreciation of the enduring Biblical teachings and meaningful contemporary practice of the Sabbath, High Holy Days and Festivals in one volume, Kashrut, Tzitzit and Tefillin in the other volume, and the newest addition, Studies on the Weekly Torah Readings in five volumes.