How do we give our children an education for their future?
This was the central question that keynote speaker, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, put before the 60 plus educators and lay leaders, representing Schechter, Fuchs Mizrachi, Agnon, the Lippman School, and Hathaway Brown, who gathered for edJEWcon – Cleveland this past Sunday. It was a unique opportunity to discuss shaping an education experience in the 21st Century for children who will (God willing) live into the 22nd Century.
To drive home just how much the world is changing (and not changing back), Silvia shared with us this short video from the Onion satirical website about the Blockbuster Movie Museum. After we were done chuckling, Silvia drove home that the only thing that is constant is change.
Silvia walked us through the the 5 C’s of 21st Century learning – collaboration, connectivity, creativity, communication and critical thinking. These are skills that our students need as they learn how to learn. So much information can be Googled. For example, How many pilgrims were on the Mayflower? What is the square root of 72? Who was the first prime minister of Israel? If we continue to focus on just knowledge acquisition, our students won’t have the skills that they need to deal with future.
This was not a conference about using technology, but rather about what needs to happen in our classrooms to ensure that our students are engaged, empowered and prepared for a changing world. She encouraged us to embrace a growth mindset and to recognize that creating and sharing products is part of the learning process. Our relationships with our students are a critical element of this as we work to help our students become self-motivated and self-directed.
The remainder of the conference helped educators build their toolkit of skills to help our students be prepared for the future. Teachers left excited and engaged with the possibilities of growing and extending their practice. I’m looking forward to sharing their experiments and experiences in the future as we build from our edJEWcon experience.
Dr. Ari Yares
Head of School