by Kathe Pinchuck
What is lifelong learning? It can be defined as “all purposeful learning activity undertaken on an ongoing basis with the aim of improving knowledge, skills, and competence. It contains various forms of education and training, formal, non-formal and informal, individually, in a group setting or within the framework of social movements.” As Jewish educators, we facilitate these activities, but we also strive to inculcate our students with a love of Judaism that will amplify the learning experience.
A relatively new model in both business and education is “backward design.” Using this approach, the first step for Jewish educators is identifying the desired results (laying a foundation for lifelong Jewish learning). Then, consider the evidence needed to determine whether the desired results are being achieved. Finally, plan the learning experiences to help students understand key concepts, and generate action plans focused on obtaining the desired results. While each educational institution will have its own goals and ways to determine if they are being met, most can look to an integral collaborative partner: the Judaica librarian.