Teaching Talmud in Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Schools: The Rabbi Yeshayahu Weber Learning Skills Instructional Method and its Influence on Achievement – A Comparative Study

Ariel Sherlow, Shira Iluz, Yaacov J. Katz, Hindy Stern

This paper focuses on the teaching of Talmud in ultra-Orthodox (haredi) talmud torah schools and the achievement of students who were taught using traditional instructional methods, compare with the achievement of students instructed by teachers using the Rabbi Yeshayahu Weber learning skills instructional method. The uniqueness of this research study is its focus on the teaching of Talmud to young boys studying in haredi talmud torah schools and the analysis of the pedagogical procedures used in these schools. The haredi sector poses a challenge to researchers who wish to study an autonomous, closed, conservative community that resists the influences of modern and post-modern society and does not foster research conducted by academic and educational professionals.

 

The results of the present quantitative study clearly indicate that the innovative Rabbi Yeshayahu Weber learning skills instructional method, which was initially implemented in special education for students with learning disabilities but developed to include the teaching of regular students in regular talmud torah school classes, contributes significantly to the enhancement of learning achievement compared to the traditional instructional methods used in talmud torah schools.  It appears that the Weber method facilitates improved cognitive performance of Talmud Torah school students and leads to students' enhanced understanding of Talmud.