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​Methods in Teaching Talmud

​A basic course in the program: Studies toward a Specialization Certificate in the Didactics of Teaching Talmudic Literature and Oral Law.

Course Description:

This course is an in-depth look at the logical character of the Talmud. Study of the stages of the editing and the compilation of the Talmud will serve as a foundation for the examination of a variety of sugyot (i.e. Talmudic discussions) and the typology of those sugyot. The course will offer teaching strategies suitable to the types of sugyot, and instruct students how to construct various types of graphic schematic maps that encode the different classes of Talmudic sugyot. Simplification of these structures in order to include and generalize as many sugyot as possible under one scheme will be emphasized. Besides the “Cognitive Map” method, we will also mention other methods like “Revadim” and Gemara Berura”. ​​​

Course Objectives: 
 
  1. The student will be able to teach Jewish Studies with computers.
  2. The student will be introduced to models of concept mapping, charts, flowcharts and other visual aids..
  3. The student will learn to promote affect by technological motivation tools
  4. The student will be able to apply a variety of models when teaching traditional texts with computerized Cognitive Maps.

Specific Course Requirements: 

  1. Basic knowledge of the Jewish Holy Scriptures and Jewish literature.
  2. Knowledge in operating Internet programs Word and Power-point.  

Hardware and Software Requirements: 

  1. You should have a minimum of a 133 MHz processor and 32 MB of memory.
  2. The course is created for PC's. You should be running Office 2000 (or greater) with Power-point and Word.

Assessment and Grading

  1. Written assignment or a forum assignment after each lesson (50% of the grade).
  2. A term paper that summarizes the Cognitive Maps we mentioned during the semester (50% of the grade).



Course Outline:


  1. Introduction – We will try to find methods that will increase empathy, affect and desire for the study of Talmud. In our course, we will attempt to find more effective means for the teacher to teach Talmud, and a more efficient method for the child to study this difficult subject. We will stress the importance of teaching Jewish education with technological means.
  2. The Editing and the Compilation of the Mishnah and the Talmud. We the Talmudical generations of the “Tanaim” and “Amoraim.
  3. The Editing and the Compilation of the Mishnah and the Talmud. This lesson we will deal with the Compilation of the Talmudic anonymous – “stamaic” texts. The stamaic texts are the litigate discussions of the Talmud and written in a discursive style. We will also deal with the Typology of the various fixed Sugyot and build for each type of sugya its “Cognitive Map”.
  4. The advantages of teaching with spatial learning strategies and cognitive maps. This lesson we will discuss the advantages of Visual Learning. We will learn about Cognitive Maps. These are graphical aids that assist the student before, during, and after, the frontal lesson. We will also learn the importance of dynamic self learning. “You know what you do – and not what others do for you”.
  5. This lesson as in the last lesson we will deal with the typology of the various fixed “Cognitive Maps”. While dealing with the typology, we will learn how to build them and utilize the various graphic schemes.
  6. The typology of the various fixed “Cognitive Maps”. Part II This lesson as in the last lesson we will also deal with the typology of the various fixed “Cognitive Maps”. While dealing with the typology, we will learn how to build them and utilize the various graphic schemes.
  7. Teaching Talmudic language. The language of the text, which is in Aramaic, and at times Mishnaic and Amoraic Hebrew. Outside of Talmud, students do not study Aramaic grammar and syntax. The words are therefore unfamiliar. For that matter so is the entire literary structure. We will discuss how to overcome language barriers.
  8. Teaching Talmudic language. The language of the text, which is in Aramaic, and at times Mishnaic and Amoraic Hebrew. Outside of Talmud, students do not study Aramaic grammar and syntax. The words are therefore unfamiliar. For that matter so is the entire literary structure. We will discuss how to overcome language barriers.
  9. Teaching Aggadic Texts – Part 1. This lesson we will discuss methods how to teach Aggaddic texts. We will practice self learning teaching methods and moral values that can be produced from these “sugyot”. This week we will also discuss teaching with educational comics. Comics are cognitive maps as well. The figures are placed in front of the student before reading the text.
  10. This lesson we will deal with the teaching Talmud via visual matrix charts. The Talmudic “sugyot” have a fixed logic, so will our permanent maps have a set form. We will discuss how to prepare “Cases, rule (law), and reason charts” and “Disagreement charts”. The “disagreement chart” stresses the characters involved, their statements and their reason behind the statement.
  11. We will demonstrate the “Problem solving chart” which contains mainly questions and answers. We will continue with “Problem solving charts“: the “Two sided problem map” and the “Difference map”. The a-fortiori argument (Kal Vechomer) map– This chart is utilized when one issue is deducted from another issue by the minori process.
  12. This lesson we will conclude our discussion on charts with the: Verse chart – The passage and what is learnt from the passage. This lesson we will also discuss the “Contradiction Arrow Map”. This lesson we will discuss the Proof Arrow Map and The Logical Deduction Map.
  13. This week we will continue with The Logical Deduction Map. This lesson we will discuss "Office" program diagrams such as flowcharts that can be utilized as visual aids. This week we will also discuss the “Intifada Map” as a separate lesson.
  14. In this lesson we will become acquainted to another self – learning method, Gemara Berura and we will examine its advantages and disadvantages. We will also summarize our Talmudic learning method.

Reading Matirial:
Lesson
Reading Material
1
2
4
7
8, 9
12

Bibliography:
  1. Anderson, John R.: Cognitive Psychology and its Implications , Freeman, N.Y., 1995, 1990, 1985
  2. Ausubel, David Paul Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View, Holt Rinehart & Winston, N.Y. , 1968.
  3. Bollini, L.: Flowerlike schemes to assist learning - Web Interface Design based on Cognitive Maps: Generative Dynamics in Information Architecture,http://www.generativeart.com/papersga2003/a07.htm
  4. Farnhan-Diggory, Sylvia: Cognitive Processes In Education, Harper & Row Publishers, N.Y. - London - San Francisco - Evanston, 1972.
  5. Freeman, Greg: Graphic Organizers, Mind Maps, Concept Maps, http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
  6. Lehman, Helane G.: Graphic Organizers Benefit Slow Learners, Clearing House, Vol.66, 1, pp. 53-55, 1992.
  7. Nuno, Guimar - Teresa, Chambel - Jos, Bidarra: From Cognitive Maps to Hypervideo: Supporting Flexible and Rich Learner-Centred Environments, http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/2000/2/03/index.asp
  8. Parks, Sandra & Black, Howard: Organizing Thinking - Graphic Organizers , Critical Thinking Press & Software, Pacific Grove, Ca. 1992.
  9. Peterson Robyn Managing Successful Learning: a Practical Guide for Teachers and Trainers, Kogan Page, London, 1992
  10. Rinhart, S.D., Barksdale - Ladd, M.A., & Welker, W.A.: Effects of Advanced Organizers on Text Recall by Poor Readers. Reading, Writing, & Learning Disabilities, 7, 1991, pp. 321- 335
  11. Robinson, Daniel H. & Kiewra, Kenneth A.: Visual Argument; Graphical Organizers are Superior in Improving Learning from Text, Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 87, 3, pp. 455-467, 1995.
  12. Robinson, Daniel H. & Shraw, Gregory: Computational Efficiency though Visual Argument; Do Graphic Organizers Communicate Relations in Text Too Effectively, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol.19, 4, 1994
  13. Sinatra, Richard C., Stahl - Germade, Josephine, & Berg, David: Improving Reading Comprehension of Disabled Readers Through Semantic Mapping, The Reading Teacher , 38, Oct. 1984, pp. 22 - 31.
  14. Tamir, Pinchus: Concept Mapping, The Encyclopedia of Curriculum, pp., 333-335 1991.
  15. Tarquin, Patti & Walker, Sharon: Creating Success in the Classroom! - Visual Organizers and How to Use Them, Teacher Ideas Press, Englewood, Colorado, 1997.
  16. Winn, William: The Role of Diagrammatic Representation in Learning Sequences, Identification & Classification, As A Function of Verbal & Spatial Ability, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 19, 78-89 1982.
  17. Winn, William: Learning From Maps & Diagrams, Educational Psychology Reveiw, Vol. 3, 3 ,p.p. 211- 242, Sept. 1991.

 Course Developer: