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Subject: 1. What is an ideal classroom in a Jewish school setting? According to the Society of Humanistic Judaism (15), the Jewish education system consists of three categories: primary education (grades 1-6), middle school (grade 7-9) and high schools (grades 10-12)…
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Download file to see previous pages In reference to Goodman (20-22), a classroom is a physical environment with psychological connections. The classroom atmosphere should provide a comfortable serene area for learning in both the physical furnishing and psychological setting. Such a comfortable environment is fundamental for a 4th grade student who is young and eager to learn and explore. Goodman (23) outlines that the teacher, as the leader in the classroom, promotes community thinking among the students. Kids have one thing in common that bond them together “they are of the same age of less life experience”. This makes them think, act, learn and behave alike when together; they like to learn in groups and clubs. Ballantine et al (29) indicates that, in an ideal classroom, the excellent teacher instills community thinking into the children’s mindsets. The teachers’ communication is particularly significant to the students e.g. by saying; “In our class, we work together” the students begin thinking in a broader perspective as a class and not as individuals. This is particularly essential for the junior 4th grade students who still want a feeling of connection to one another. The 4th grade children in Solomon Schechter schools acts and behave like a community in and out of the classroom. This is because the Hebrew language instills core Jewish culture in their learning and community relationship. Gurock (26) argues that the teacher connects to the students in the classroom by showing interest in the students’ lives and showing them how valuable they are to be members of the class. Through empathizing with children or encouraging them, the students feel connected not only to the tutor but also to the classroom as a whole. Warshawaky (52) outlines that, as the leader in the classroom and an example that the student should follow, the teacher must act, communicate and behave in a respectful manner in the classroom. Young students often copy what their teacher does and believe what their teacher tells them or what the teacher says (Marcus 22). The students will mirror the behavior, actions and communication techniques of their teacher. Jewish culture (in all the Jewish movements; 0rthodox, conservative or reform Jews) demands a child upbringing that is religious and that shares in the norms, believes and rituals of Judaism. A teacher of 4th grade Jewish students ought to instill respect into the students while in the classroom environment. According to Gurock (32), the Orthodox Jewish schools place more focus on religious studies of Torah and Hebrew culture. They often devote almost half of the school day for religious practices and instructions. The curriculum of most of the Orthodox Jewish schools (where all students are Jews and practice Jewish culture and prayers to the letter) promotes Judaism and religious studies. The primary responsibilities of the teachers in the Orthodox Jewish schools are to train the students in skills as well as proper religious, morals and social behavior (National Institute of Education 44). For example, the teacher should encourage students to embrace the use of phrases such “thank you”, “you are welcome”, and “excuse me” among other respectful statements. Weitherman (41-44) explains that the classroom is a democratic place where everybody’s view is respected. Fourth grade students have a mind that can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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