Develop a program to serve children with learning differences.

Estimates are that up to twenty percent of children of normal or above normal intelligence, have learning differences in the ways in which they absorb and use information and ideas. While these students have a very high rate of success in later life, their school experiences tend to be unsuccessful and miserable both for them and for their schools. Have we then created a Jewish educational system that guarantees the alienation of twenty percent of our students?

Create a committee to review the resources available for serving children with learning differences. This review should focus first on the degree of individualization which teachers are expected to provide in classroom instruction; what training and support is provided to teachers to make such an expectation reasonable? Are teachers empowered to develop multiple intellectual and experiential paths through which the same educational goals may be achieved?

  • Where children with learning differences need to be separated out into special classes, thought should be given to the possibility of developing a consortium of cooperating schools to make the effort more economical, to better serve the social needs of the children and to maintain a higher degree of professionalism in the services provided.
  • Attention must always be paid to the social inclusion of children with learning differences, in school, during extra-curricular activities in informal educational programming and in purely social contexts involving children of the school. These are often opportunities to promote the sense of Jewish pride which preserves the links to Yiddishkeit.

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