ERIC Number: EJ828097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Reference Count: 2
Educating towards a "Fusion of Horizons"
Journal of Jewish Education, v73 n2 p121-122 May 2007
This article presents the author's response to Joseph Reimer's article titled, "Beyond More Jews Doing Jewish: Clarifying the Goals of Informal Jewish Education." In his article, Reimer laudably seeks to concretize the often ambiguous goals of informal Jewish education. To build his case, he points to the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi to describe how informal education can become a transformational Jewish learning experience. Using the example of a fun, but seemingly educationally vacuous, summer camp color war, Reimer describes a "flow" experience--Csikszentmihalyi's term for the moment when something just "clicks"--when people become so absorbed in an activity that a transformational learning moment occurs. Reimer hypothesizes that "in that click lies the power of informal education to stimulate a special kind of Jewish learning" (Reimer, 2007, p. 18). In seeking to uncover the nature of human understanding, German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer elaborates on the deep meaning that can occur when people lose themselves in conversation, at play or work. Gadamer (1989, p. 101) calls this the "game" or "play" and describes the experience as a "buoyancy of the ontological moment"--a sort of floating within existence itself. Gadamer argues that understanding takes place when one's "horizon"--what one brings to the table; his/her background, history, culture, gender, language, education, etc.--fuses with the horizon of another and a new horizon is created. This is not to imply that one's horizon is reconciled with another's; rather that an extraordinary learning experience occurs when the other's horizon is acknowledged and affirmed.
Descriptors: Play, Jews, Informal Education, Judaism, Transformative Learning, Learning Experience, Religious Education
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A