This research study investigates the havruta, a model of textual interpretation from the Jewish learning tradition, from the perspective of two participants who study within this model to reveal the havruta's import as a study practice. The research questions guiding this study are: What is the experience of learning in a particular havruta ? and What insight can the havruta offer to the field of curriculum studies concerning the interpretive process?
The Epistemological and Theoretical Perspective guiding this research study is hermeneutics, drawing on hermeneutic theory from Judaic scholarship, philosophical hermeneutics, and curriculum studies and the work of Ricoeur (1981, 1991, 1995), Block (1995, 2004, 2007, 2009), de Castell (1999), Sumara (1996, 2002), Doll (2000), and Jardine (2006). Data collection methods included observations and a final triangulating interview (Seidman, 1991; Creswell, 2003).
Jewish hermeneutics' concept of text mediating dialogue; philosophical hermeneutics' prioritizing of universal experience of textual study (Ricoeur, 1981), and curriculum studies' interests in the relationships between "language, culture, learning, and teaching" (Sumara, 2002, p. 14) and in interpreting and reinterpreting educational experience in sites of learning methodologically inform this study.
Following ten observation sessions of the men learning together in their study dyad, interpretive data analysis revealed the following themes associated with the two men's experience of learning in their havruta: the use of challenge and debate; the demonstration of an ethic of care and concern for each other; the employ of humor to diffuse discomfort, mollify tension, and to ensure humility; the abiding by hermeneutic rules of interpretation; and the maintenance of a dedication to the larger community.
The themes identified reveal the potential use value of the havruta in a literature classroom, and the study concludes with a discussion that theorizes methods of employing this traditional model of textual study in a contemporary secular classroom setting.
|Commitee:||Block, Alan A., Glazer, Steven M., Paley, Nicholas, Wright, Travis|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Curriculum & Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Ethics, Pedagogy, Curriculum development, Judaic studies|
|Keywords:||Curriculum studies, English education, Havruta, Hermeneutics, Jewish, Jewish studies, Literature classroom, Pedagogy|
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