As a ground-breaking experiment, BASIS was reviewed and analyzed by three professional groups:
- SRI, Inc.
- A group of researchers commissioned by Avi Chai Foundation
- Jewish LearningWorks’ Israel Education Initiative
SRI’s findings, after one year of BASIS, are reported in the Outcomes section.
The Avi Chai group was charged not with evaluating BASIS, but, instead, with assessing which aspects, processes, and strategies employed by BASIS were most effective in achieving desired outcomes. The group identified “Ingredients of Transformation,” those strategies they found to demonstrate the greatest promise in effecting enduring change. They also offered recommendations for future initiatives.
Recommendations for future initiatives include:
- Develop a clear vision for Israel education;
- Identify and support an administrative platform to lead and coordinate the initiative;
- Design measures of school readiness and student impact;
- Construct matched cohorts of participating schools;
- Prepare personnel to lead and coordinate Israel education in schools.
“Ingredients for Transformation,” gleaned from BASIS strategies included these:
Ingredients that Promise Enduring Change
- School-level Vision
- Israel Education Coordinator with Power and Influence
- Engaged General Studies Faculty
- Student Travel to Israel as a Curricularized and Integrated Experience
- Enhanced School-based Capacity for Curriculum Development
- Twinning Relationship with Israeli Schools
- Educational Leadership & Faculty Travel to Israel
- Building Communities of Practice
- Encountering Israel Through Arts and Culture
Ingredients that Contribute to Positive Change
Jewish LearningWorks participated as consultants to the Avi Chai study and endorses its findings. The team at Jewish LearningWorks also offers additional lessons learned. As with the Avi Chai group, the Jewish LearningWorks “Lessons Learned” do not comprise an evaluation of the program. They are prospective, intended to inform practitioners of future initiatives.
We can divide our lessons learned in a few categories: