Today we have a guest post from Rebecca from Yachad:
I’m Becky, the youth and student outreach worker at Yachad, a pro-peace, pro-Israel organisation that aims to engage large numbers of British Jews through education and debate in support of a two state solution in Israel. I’m currently working on expanding our resources for primary and secondary school teachers. I want to ensure that the resources I create are relevant and useful, therefore I am looking for teachers to feed into the development process. This can involve as little or as much time as you have to spare, please email Rebecca@yachad.org.uk to express your interest or for more info.
Rebecca is the youth and student outreach worker at Yachad, she has a background in working with young people in alternative educational settings and an MA in Museum and Gallery Education. Her desire to work to support a peaceful outcome to the Israel Palestine conflict was solidified while living in Israel and volunteering with The Centre for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage.
To find out more about Yachad, click here to visit their website.
I just came across a newly launched tutoring agency called J-Teach
What are other teachers experiences of tutoring? Do you tutor GCSE or ALevel students, 11+ or Common Entrance? Do you tutor students from the school where you teach, or friends of friends’ children? Please put your comments below, so we can start the discussion.
Parents Circle Families Forum is a unique, grassroots organisation made up of more than 600 Israeli & Palestinian families who have all lost an immediate family member in the conflict. Members believe that if they, who have paid the highest price in the conflict, can work together, then surely others can too. The focus of the work is on getting both sides to sit together so that an emotional breakthrough can be made. Often these meetings are the first opportunity that Israelis & Palestinians have had to see each other as ordinary human beings who share the same hopes, the same dreams and the same pain.
Their long-term vision is to create a framework for a reconciliation process to be an integral part of any future peace agreement.
The past twenty years has seen a rapid expansion of Jewish schooling across the UK. If you follow the Jewish media, you could be forgiven for thinking that each passing week brings with it a new building, or group of parents setting up a free school, or fundraising campaign for one of the existing institutions.
As you know, JTA has been working hard to build the profile of Jewish teachers within the teaching unions, particularly NUT. This work has been reported in theJC and the JPost. Samidha Garg, from the Education and Equalities Department has written to Jewish teachers to say that she supports and encourages the work we are doing which you can read here. Continue reading →
I have three hats: a parent, working in a School of Education and I am a doctor.
I entered the field of education and in particular special needs, coming from a background in medicine as a GP, as my second child was diagnosed with Dyspraxia (DCD) at 3 years of age and needed to find out more about the condition and how best to support him.
Do you ever feel that you have to be the educator on the issue of the Arab-Israeli Conflict but feel reluctant to do so, either because you feel you do not have adequate in-depth knowledge, or because you do not want to offend those who may have already have definite views? We at MEEDU try to address this problem by giving information on the views and attitudes of both sides. Most schools try to get a balanced view by inviting, separately, speakers from both sides, speakers who give their own conflicting views of historical and current events. Our approach is totally different and is unique.
Racism can never be justified. That’s why when AQA (a leading UK exam board) published an exam question last week on a GCSE Judaism paper which asked students to ‘Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews’ it provoked such outcry from the Board of Deputies of British Jews among other community organisations. As a Religious Studies teacher, teaching the AQA GCSE, I think that a discussion around stereotyping and scapegoating is important and legitimate. However, I can’t help thinking that for some students, when asked to ‘Explain why some people are prejudiced against Jews’ or indeed any other minority, a student might just list all the worst sorts of objectionable things about the group specified; without making reference to flawed upbringing or ignorance as an explanation for the racist views – and there’s no doubt that this is what AQA had in mind when they wrote the exam. My real worry is that these kinds of badly written exam questions can limit and lead to ‘bad RE’ teaching. The best Religious Studies teaching is done by teachers who attempt to convey religions and their context in society in an engaging an authentic way. In the case of Jewish Studies, I think that the context of racism and Anti Semitism has to be taught sensitively, as one part of Jewish history, but not to the exclusion of teaching about all other aspects of Jewish identity, belief and practice. Ultimately GCSE examinations are a ‘rubber stamp’ to acknowledge years of learning, and it’s a missed opportunity when poorly worded examination questions fail to showcase the breadth of students’ learning.
Flora R H Richards is in her fifth year of teaching Religious Studies at various London schools. She trained to teach at King’s College London and has a Religious Studies degree from Lancaster University. She is chair of the Jewish Teachers Association. Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
In May last year, Jewish teachers met to exchange and discuss ideas and resources for teaching pupils and staff about the Holocaust. The outcome was a range of suggestions for using novels, creative writing, music, drama, art, exhibitions and museums to enrich our understanding of the Holocaust. Please see the resource list attached to help you with your own ideas. We would like to make this an even more comprehensive guide to resources and welcome further suggestionsor references of material you might use this year that we can circulate. Just email us back and we’ll add your ideas to the list.