Twenty lecturers from Herzog College were prominent among the speakers at the Eighth International Conference on Teacher Education, organized by the Mofet Institute in Tel-Aviv on June 26-27, 2023.
The Mofet Institute conference takes place in Israel every four years, attracting teacher educators from Israel and around the world to share best practices. The theme this year was “Passion and Professionalism in Teacher Education”. Twenty members of the Herzog College faculty had their papers accepted and gave insightful presentations in English at this prestigious professional conference.
In one session on “Processes of Change in Teacher Training”, all the speakers were pedagogy experts from Herzog College: Dr. Eden Hacohen and Liora Shamash from the Herzog Literature Education department spoke about integrating new teaching and learning methods in text-based lessons in the COVID-19 era. Dr. Amy Gelbart and Dr. Lindsey Shapiro-Steinberg from the Herzog English Education department, spoke about how education professionals need to encourage student-teachers to become playful, creative learners, and the importance of teacher self-identity and well-being. Dr. Shira Rosenberg and Odelia Elkoby from the Herzog Pedagogy faculty discussed the impact of continuing Social Emotional Learning on teachers’ social-emotional skills.
Several Herzog College speakers addressed the educational lessons learned from the COVID pandemic. Dr. Avichai Kellerman, the Academic Dean of the College, gave a presentation together with Dr. Hava Sasson, Head of Education, about the distance learning challenges and how they were overcome in Israel. Dr. Egoza Wasserman, a lecturer in Herzog’s Computer Science Education department, spoke about the role that school principals played in empowering their teachers. Dr. Yehudit Chassida, the Academic Coordinator of the Haredi Education Program at Herzog College, spoke about the experience of organizing distance learning by telephone among Haredi students, who didn’t have access to computers.
Dr. Shulamit Kopeliovich, head of the English Education faculty, gave a session on guiding seminar papers in a Haredi program. She teaches the B.Ed. English course to Haredi women who are already working as teachers. Last semester, she led a seminar on Action Research techniques, where the student-teachers were encouraged to analyze what was not working in their classroom, evaluate the problem, reflect on solutions, and implement systematic changes. At the end of the project, each participant produced and presented a research paper. Dr. Kopeliovich’s presentation at the Mofet Conference explained the benefits of encouraging teachers to go through this process of Action Research, which empowers them to be reflective and to modify their teaching to suit their students.
Other Herzog faculty members participated in sessions about teaching evolution in religious schools, teacher-student relationships where students have disabilities, perceptions of students with learning disabilities about becoming teachers, the challenges facing religious Tanakh teachers in Israel’s secular high schools, pathways in Tanakh teaching, and rethinking multicultural encounter course formats in light of pandemic-imposed adjustments. The College’s Research Authority assisted the participants with preparing their presentations in English.
Herzog College Academic Dean Dr. Avichai Kellerman said: “We were proud to field a strong team of Herzog College pedagogy experts to speak at this important conference in Tel-Aviv. In the field of teacher education, Herzog clearly has a great deal to contribute, as experts in adapting to the changing and demanding challenges of the modern world. The conference theme was passion and professionalism, and we clearly excel in communicating both of these values to our students.”
(shown at right: Dr. Eden Hacohen, Liora Shemesh, Dr. Sarit Schussheim and Dr. Amy Gelbart enjoying the Conference)