Thursday, June 28

Daddy Math

Fathers play a major role in their daughters' interest in math and science, according to a 13-year University of Michigan study that traced the sources of the math and science gender gap. Females and males scored equally well on tests of science and math ability, but parents' attitudes -- particularly fathers' gender stereotypes -- had a significant effect on their daughters' math achievement and eventual career choice. More here.

Wednesday, June 27

The Neuroscience of Joyful Education

Almost made the Duh! Department:
Brain research tells us that when the fun stops, learning often stops too.

Sunday, June 24

Past & Present

The Jerusalem Post on why Rabbi Chaim brovender is like an oil strike or a hi-tech startup,

Friday, June 15

Moadei Chaim

In conjunction with the celebration of Rabbi Chaim Brovender's 40th anniversary of teaching Torah in Israel, ATID has produced "Moadei Chaim" -- a special CD with 15 shiurim on the cycle of the Jewish Holidays, containing over 10 hours of Rabbi Brovender's teachings on the Chagim.

Click for the Table of Contents or Order Form.

Thursday, June 14

New Publication

In our "Notes From ATID" series, we recently published Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky's Hebrew monograph exploring the nature of counseling religious students vs. pesak halakhah (rendering decisive legal rulings on matters of Jewish law), the tensions between them, and the integrity each possesses as a religious and educational act. Dr. Wolowelsky's essay is followed by responses from Rabbis Yuval Sherlo and Yigal Bezalel Shafran.

In Israel, order through the ATID office. Abroad, order via

Coming soon in the "Notes From ATID" series: Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Yehuda Brandes debate solutions to the challenges of teaching Gemara in high schools (in English).

Wednesday, June 13

R. Brovender Tribute Online

Evening of Tribute to Rabbi Chaim Brovender
Marking 40 Years of Teaching Torah in Israel
Watch, read, and listen online!

Last night in Jerusalem a capacity crowd of almost 400 of Rabbi Chaim Brovender's students, colleagues, family and friends gathered to pay tribute to this remarkable Rosh Yeshiva, his 40 years of teaching Torah in Israel, and his vision for Jewish education.
Click here to watch "Torat Chaim ve-Ahavat Chesed" -- the 25-minute documentary film surveying the accomplishments and impact of Rabbi Brovender's teaching on 40 years of talmidim and talmidot -- or to dowload the Tribute Book, which was presented to Rabbi Brovender at the event, with contributions from over 130 students and colleagues on the experience of learning Torah with Rabbi Brovender and in his yeshivot. Rabbi Brovender's address at the event: "Ben Arbaim la-Bina: Reflections on my Career in Talmud Torah" will be available online in a day or so -- check back online.

Tuesday, June 12

Crisis? What Crisis?

Several times a year, ATID summarizes recent research, trends, and ideas in Jewish education. By doing so, we hope to keep the community of educators up to date on information that they may find useful, and help to set an agenda for further research and thinking in Jewish education.

In this installment, ATID's Director of Research and Projects, Dr. Yoel Finkelman, writes on: "The Crises in Contemporary Orthodox Education: Part 1 - A Teacher Shortage?"

Sunday, June 10

Help Desk

The first Help Desk -- click.

Friday, June 8

Rav Mitch z"l

Rabbi Mitch Heifetz -- a great Jewish educator -- has died.
View the seminar he led at ATID on Experiential Torah Teaching, click here.
Rabbi Mitch Heifetz z"l was the director and teacher of the overseas program at Yeshivat Kibbutz HaDati. He traveled the Jewish educational world as an educational shaliach for the Jewish Agency for Israel, and taught teachers around the world the art of experiential teaching methods in Jewish Studies.

Thursday, June 7

Starting School

According to the apple-or-coin test, used in the Middle Ages, children should start school when they are mature enough for the delayed gratification and abstract reasoning involved in choosing money over fruit. In 15th- and 16th-century Germany, parents were told to send their children to school when the children started to act “rational.” And in the contemporary world, children are deemed eligible to enter kindergarten according to an arbitrary date on the calendar known as the birthday cutoff. Did the Medievals know something we don't?

Wednesday, June 6

Teacher Isolation

For much of the last century it was a commonplace of research into the professional lives of teachers that they invariably worked in isolation, behind closed doors, in the insulated environment of their own classrooms. This sociological circumstance became a central target for reformers who argued that if teachers’ work was deprivatized, or if schools were viewed as communities rather than as organizations, a variety of benefits would follow.

What happened?

Tuesday, June 5

Grade Inflation

At high schools across America, more and more students are graduating with grade-point averages of A, including some whose averages are well above the traditional 4.0 for an A. Grades -- some weighted with extra points or fractions of points for taking harder courses -- are getting so high that a solid B is becoming the new C, which years ago was considered average. Click.

Monday, June 4

Don't rush reading, math

"There is tremendous pressure by parents to begin formal education as early as possible," says Mirit Cohen, a kindergarten teacher from Tel Aviv. "They ask that the kids learn quickly to write, that we conduct a preparatory course for first grade and that everyone be ready for school. At every parent-teacher gathering I say that we should cool it a little - that 12 more years of school await the children. They should be allowed to be children."
Click here (but not too fast).

Saturday, June 2

Think Kids

From the author of The Explosive Child, a new website is disseminating, on a large scale, a more contemporary, accurate understanding of the true difficulties of challenging kids and more effective ideas about how to help them. The site was developed with Parents, Educators, Clinicians, and Pediatricians in mind. Upon entrance to the site, each audience is directed to their own specially designed section and guided through a step-by-step process that explains this new way of thinking about and helping challenging kids. Each section includes answers to common questions and easy access to a variety of training materials. There are also blogs which are frequently updated and present a great way to continue your learning about Collaborative Problem Solving over time. Click here for