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ERIC Number: EJ828089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1524-4113
"Method Is Education:" Making Informal Education Social and Substantive
Stern, Miriam Heller
Journal of Jewish Education, v73 n2 p141-142 May 2007
This article presents the author's response to Joseph Reimer's essay titled, "Beyond More Jews Doing Jewish: Clarifying the Goals of Informal Jewish Education." Joseph Reimer states that the challenge for informal education is to move beyond socialization to clarify and achieve "deeper" educational goals. Distinguishing between socialization and education on a theoretical level is tricky because so much of education as people know it has a socializing function; and to the extent that socialization involves the transmission of values and knowledge, it is educational. So what does it mean to take a "social" program and make it "educational"? To answer this question, and to add a voice from a formative era in Jewish education to Reimer's theoretical framework, the author offers the words of a Jewish informal educator from the 1930s: Miriam Ephraim. Ephraim was then the Director of Extension Activities (the equivalent of informal education) at New York's Central Jewish Institute, a progressive school center that integrated a Talmud Torah, youth groups, and a summer camp (Camp Cejwin). Trained in the Progressive intellectual orbit of Columbia Teachers College and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Teachers Institute in the early 1920s, Ephraim was a pioneer in her insistence that Jewish youth work be both social "and" substantive. What made the Central Jewish Institute's club activities distinctly educational, as opposed to just social like the myriad youth groups that emerged in the Progressive era? Ephraim (1931/1966) explained, "Method is education." To elaborate the implications of this simple guiding principle, the author considers a rich example of Ephraim's method in practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York