Call for Papers for a Volume on Teaching and Learning in Jewish Day Schools 

 In Announcements
Proposals due December 15, 2018 || Papers due March 1, 2019
Editors: Jon Levisohn, Jonathan Krasner and Susanne Shavelson
As the modern Jewish day school in North America approaches its centennial, the field faces challenges from increasing tuition costs, demographic decline, and changing attitudes towards ethnic tribalism. Those are important concerns. However, behind those issues lie the day-to-day teaching and learning that occurs, or that is desired to occur, within these institutions. What do we know, from disciplined empirical inquiry, about that teaching and learning? This call follows the successful conference at the Mandel Center at Brandeis in the spring of 2018. Papers accepted in response to this call will become chapters in a volume, provisionally titled Inside Jewish Day Schools. We seek scholarly papers, grounded in empirical investigations in contemporary Jewish day schools, and from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, that are written for audiences that include scholars and practitioners of Jewish education. Successful proposals will highlight a clear research question and identify the type of data and the setting from which they were gathered, with a sense of a preliminary finding or argument. In particular, we encourage essays that reflect on one or more of these questions:
  • What do we know and what can we learn about what students are learning in Jewish day schools?
  • What do we know about the alignment, or lack of alignment, between desired and actual student learning outcomes?
  • What do we know about teaching and learning in specific subject areas (e.g., Bible, Rabbinics, Hebrew, Jewish history and social studies)?
  • What do we know about teaching and learning of Jewish developmental (i.e., “whole child”) outcomes beyond, outside or across subjects?
  • What do we know about the relationship between the former and the latter?
  • What are the key elements of the distinctive “grammar” of Jewish day schools that influence teaching and learning?
  • How are student learning and school culture shaped by factors such as race, class and gender?
  • How are current debates in general education over issues like privatization, character education, and educational equity affecting Jewish day school teaching and learning?
Submission Procedure We invite proposals that speak to one or more of these cross-cutting questions. Given the timeline, we are interested in proposals based on current or recent research or work in progress, rather than newly-initiated studies.
Proposals should:
  • be no more than 500 words.
  • define the research question, the methodological approach, and the projected argument.
  • be submitted to in Microsoft Word format.
  • be received by December 15, 2018.
Following an accepted proposal, papers of 5,000 to 7,500 words (excluding reference lists) are due March 1, 2019. Direct inquiries to Susanne Shavelson, the Mandel Center’s associate director, at
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