The Student Voice in Designing a Jewish Studies High School Curriculum: A Case Study

Eli Kohn


In January 2012, a team of curriculum specialists based at Bar Ilan University in Israel were approached by a Jewish
day school in Australia to design a new Jewish Studies curriculum for its school. The mandate was to design a
curriculum model from first-steps that would form the basis for the new curriculum.
This article demonstrates how combining elements of Fullan's ideas about school partnerships with Schwab's
'commonplaces' concepts can best meet the needs of the school's specific population and ethos. The role of student
voice is shown to be critical in curriculum deliberations and decision making. Assumptions made by teachers about
what students would want to learn proved, in a number of instances, inaccurate. Our research seems to indicate that the
student "commonplace" voice within the design of a new curriculum should be given more consideration in the
curriculum design process.
While the research was conducted in a particular school context, the principles learned, specifically re: the place of
student-voice, can be applied to school contexts internationally.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching

ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)

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