• Ivrit’s Place in the Dual Curriculum Model of Orthodox Jewish High Schools in North America

    Reuven Chaim (Rudolph) Klein (see profile)
    Education and Pedagogy, Education Sciences, Linguistics, Religious Studies
    Applied linguistics, Education, Education--Curricula, Curriculum planning, Hebrew language, Jews--Education
    Item Type:
    London School of Jewish Studies/Middlesex University
    dual curriculum, heritage language, Ivrit, American Orthodox Judaism, Curriculum, Curricular development, Jewish education
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    The dual curriculum model ubiquitous to Orthodox Jewish day schools in North America typically bifurcates into religious (Judaic) studies and general studies. While most classes generally fit into one of those two halves of the curriculum, some classes are not intuitively categorized as wholly belonging to one part over the other. One of those classes is Ivrit (Modern Hebrew). This study aims to describe Ivrit’s place in the dual curriculum model and the various factors that contribute to that reality by exploring the context in which Ivrit emerged as a subject-matter for Orthodox schools and seeking to identify trends in the ways Ivrit is taught. This paper lays out the theories behind how ideology influences curriculum formation and documents how Hebrew has fit into the curriculum of Jewish Education throughout the ages. It also provides a picture of the particular context of North American Orthodox Jewry that this study focuses on, as well as a review of the different theories behind Hebrew education (heritage language vs. communicative language). With this theoretical background in hand, this dissertation surveyed 36 Orthodox high schools in North America to better understand how they viewed Ivrit’s place and shows that ultimately this subject’s place in the dual curriculum model remains ambiguous. Documenting how Ivrit is taught and examining the reasons as to why Ivrit is taught helped shed light on Ivrit’s precarious place in the dual curriculum model, as some of those policies/techniques/motives seem to line up with the aims of the Judaic studies curriculum, while others seemingly reflect the goals of the general studies curriculum.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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