Learning from Other Fields in Order to Enrich the Programs in Middle School – Series of Lectures for the Professional Community
WIZE will hold six meetings on subjects such as personalization, GRIT and collaborative professionalism
Convening is an important component of our philanthropic toolbox. Our shared strategy is carried out mostly by others – capable professionals and organizations, from civil society, academia and government. They all need to work in tandem, to share knowledge and knowhow, and to align their activities coherently and effectively. Therefore, over the years, our portfolio has grown to include cluster events, seminars, workshops and conferences. In the recent Grantee Perception Report, more than 70% of our grantees indicated they wish we increased this practice with an emphasis on meetings in small groups that address specific themes.
Now, as we embark on a new philanthropic journey in middle schools, we find ourselves interacting with some veteran and many new partners. In preparation towards the new road, trust and confidence need to be built, and knowledge to be learned. Several of our initial grants are currently focusing on joint learning processes and pilot testing of new solutions. Together, as an emerging professional community that is starting to concentrate on middle schools, we seek to know as much as we can. We need to better listen to the young generation and their expectations from middle school, we must understand what parents want and how teachers and schools operate.
As part of this learning expedition, we approached WIZE, a nonprofit organization that specializes in arranging lectures by experts in public places. A few years ago, we collaborated with WIZE in a series of 43 talks by mathematics and science teachers, which were held in pubs and bars, mostly in Tel Aviv. This time, we asked WIZE to help in creating a series of six in-depth gatherings. We intend to invite members of our professional community to learn together in workshops at the foundation’s offices for several hours. After the workshop, WIZE will organize a public lecture, which will be held at the Beer Garden bar on the ground floor of our office building.
35-40 professionals will attend every workshop, while the lectures will also be opened to the larger professional community and the public. The lecturers will be experts in areas that are relevant to the topics studied in the workshops. These topics will include:
- Personalization. As we study personalization for education purposes, there is by now a wide range of relevant knowledge and experience on customizing services to individual needs in other fields. For instance, in medicine, banking, or advertising.
- Grit. As we learn how to develop motivation among mathematics and science students, we ask ourselves what drives a person to invest time and effort, to practice and to not give up when it is difficult, also in other fields such as sports or music.
- Collaborative Professionalism. As we create professional learning communities (PLCs) for teachers to encourage collaboration between them, we wish to learn how such collaboration is practiced in other professions, such as pilots, psychologists and doctors.
- Generation-Z. As educators, we meet students in an environment that is mostly academic. What can other disciplines, such as communications and psychology, teach us about this age group, what drives them and how do they see the present and the future?
* The text presented above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation Board / Grant 332