Kohelet Foundation to offer progressive educators’ prize

Kohelet Foundation to offer progressive educators’ prize

The Kohelet Foundation has launched its Kohelet Prize. The unrestricted $36,000 prize will be awarded to educators or teams of educators who work in Jewish day schools and whose work skillfully demonstrates a progressive approach to education in the following six categories: Interdisciplinary Integration, Real-World Learning, Learning Environment, Differentiated Instruction, Development of Critical and/or Creative Thinking, and Risk Taking and Failure.

“We know there are incredible, creative, and highly effective teachers doing this work in the field right now,” said Kohelet executive director Holly Cohen. “We want to inspire them to share what they know about developing the minds and hearts of their students.” 

“The first five categories are critical to excellent education. By honing in on these, we hope to surface work that demonstrates the elements that matter most in the classroom,” said foundation chief academic officer Rabbi Dr. Gil Perl. 

Explaining the sixth category, Perl said, “In schools, failures are too often seen as an endpoint, not as a crucial step toward success. To foster a growth mindset in students, we have to begin by fostering it in our teachers.” 

Cohen added “We’re shifting the paradigm from ‘failure is bad’ to 'responsible risk-taking and failure breed success.' That’s a game changer for the field of Jewish education.” 

Educators will upload entries directly to the Kohelet Prize website at koheletprize.org any time from Thursday, Sept. 29, until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29. A panel of judges in the fields of education, psychology, and neuroscience will select the winning entries. 

The foundation plans to create a searchable database of all entries. The prizes will be awarded in early 2017. 

For more information, visit koheletprize.org.

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