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ERIC Number: ED514545
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 306
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7461-3
Mature Love Is Complicated: Israel Education as a Microcosm of Challenges to Educators in Liberal Jewish Day Schools
Katz, Meredith Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
My study explores a curriculum development project for Israel education in a liberal Jewish high school. Through an action research framework, I investigate the tensions between teaching about Israel to achieve critical thinking goals and to facilitate students' development of positive affinity for Israel. I also explore the affordances and challenges of a collaborative site-based professional development approach at a small school with a weak institutional culture. Faculty participants in an "Israel Education Committee" that I facilitated were asked to develop a goals statement and coherent four-year scope and sequence for Israel education at Benderly, a Jewish high school serving 100 students, grades 9-12, located in an East Coast city. I structured the project to emphasize the perspectives of faculty members in recognition of their influential roles as curriculum developers and enactors. Committee members collected information about Israel education and presented it to their colleagues. These presentations catalyzed deliberations about goals, content, methods, and the micropolitical context into which we sought to integrate a more coherent program of Israel education. My findings of difficult-to-set and overlapping critical thinking and positive affinity goals for Israel education contribute an illustration from practice of the complexity of "teaching Israel" to American Jewish students. By investigating American Jewish conceptions of Israel, my research also explores the transplantability of theories of history and civics education from general education to the faith-based school environment. In this regard, I suggest considerations for other schools teaching toward identity development in the pluralistic American context. Ultimately, my description of some positive results combined with unexpected stumbles and hurdles in the change process raises questions about appropriate roles, timing, and limits for collaborative professional development, including action research, in schools yet to develop a strong track record in this area. I conclude that an incremental approach to school change, rather than a school-wide effort, may help to inculcate the values and build the infrastructure helpful for successful site-based efforts. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel