Jewish Theological Seminary, JTS

Jewish Theological Seminary, JTS

 The JTS Master’s program is for teachers to learn a variety of pedagogical methods and applications. It includes application of pedagogical skills; curriculum mapping, implementation and its analysis through mentoring; learning basic Jewish literacy, and learning how to involve parents and community.  This process is executed by providing students with a sense of approaches to Jewish text study, basic Judaism,  pedagogical training and the in’s and out’s of working in a non-profit environment. In the first semester of the course, students concentrate on developing a research question, writing a literature review, and completing a research design. In the second semester, students implement the project, collect data, and evaluate the action. Throughout the course, students are engaged in online conversation with their classmates program-wide, and in small groups, to examine examples of action research. They act as a community of practice to share their progress and to offer feedback throughout the different stages of the process.  The class professor serves as a mentor for the students. JTS can provide more mentorship and supervision if requested. A thorough online supervision and mentorship program ensures successful implementation in teaching methods. 

 Through the online practicum, students choose an aspect of practice around which to develop an in-depth investigation, using an action research framework. Action research is a reflective research process used as a tool to promote action taking in the service of educational improvement. It calls upon practitioners as insider experts to investigate research questions developed from their own concerns and to focus these efforts around planning, implementing, and evaluating a change effort, thus enhancing leadership .

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Cost: $1550/credit or $23,000 for 45 credit MA (instead of $70,000) over 3 years
Denomination: Conservative, Community, Pluralistic
Program participant feedback:

From a graduate:

My Davidson courses (specifically Pedagogic Skills and Curriculum and Instruction) helped me in curriculum development, classroom management, and lesson planning. I spent the first year of graduate school working as a religious school teacher, where I had the chance to workshop my lesson plans in Pedagogic Skills and then implement them into the classroom in which I was teaching. Our professor used a protocol in class where we brought various dilemmas we were facing in our teaching settings to our classmates, and we brainstormed solutions as a cohort. In the Curriculum and Instruction class, we were assigned projects of creating lesson plans and projects and our professor gave us ample feedback which shapes how I think about lesson design now. 

JTS provided me with a community and support network that I am able to call on when I need assistance or advice to improve my teaching and experiential education. The teacher I mentioned, who is the lead teacher in the Foundations class, is actually a fellow Davidson alum and we work together quite closely. Furthermore, when I applied to my current job I asked Davidson faculty members for feedback on my lesson plans (even professors who had not taught courses I took as a student).

 

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