There are many professions that require practitioners to participate in ongoing professional development, and rightfully so. After all, for example, we would not want a patient to be treated by an oncologist using 15 year old technologies. Similarly, we should expect our teachers to approach their students with the latest knowledge of learning theories, best practices, and relevant technologies. Yet, professional development is often under-funded and uninspired in our schools.
A century ago, when my bubbe sat in her fifth grade classroom in a Chicago public school, with 30+ classmates sitting row after row, listening to her teacher lecture, it would have been hard, probably impossible, for her to envision learning today.
In 1911, William Inglis, writing for Harper’s Weekly profiled Thomas Edison’s latest invention that he guaranteed would, “make school so attractive that a big army with swords and guns couldn't keep boys and girls out of it.” The technology was Edison’s filmstrips, and the promise was that it would reduce costs and create a more engaging and effective educational experience for students.
Enhancing the Israeli STEM Pipeline is a new JFN matching grant initiative from The Ben & Esther Rosenbloom Foundation. The $1 million initiative will strengthen formal and informal STEM education in Israel for grades K-12 and generate a greater ongoing philanthropic commitment to the field.