Adopt a spiraled Israel/Peoplehood curriculum [1] that results in cognitive, affective, and behavioral learning outcomes for students that align with the visions for excellence in Israel education articulated by the school leadership.

Adopting an Israel curriculum validates the importance of Israel as a field of study for the school, deserving of an educational plan, defined in scope and sequence.  Curriculum development directly addresses a key finding of researchers that Israel education in day schools is often ad hoc, lacking clear educational purpose and outcomes, poorly coordinated and fragmented. 

We discovered many fine curricula that had been obtained by schools and sat on shelves.  We determined that active involvement among school faculty in designing a curriculum customized for the school would improve its utility in the school.  As it turned out, this effort became the hub around which many other BASIS activities evolved in the schools.

As mentioned above, establishing a vision for excellence in Israel education was step one for curriculum design.

With the assistance of BASIS consultants, a team of educators representing both Jewish and General Studies develops a comprehensive Israel curriculum, based on the vision articulated and documented by the BASIS Leadership Team.

Because much Israel education had been ad hoc, it was important to inventory what Israel education was being done, and how those activities related to each other and to the guiding vision.  As the schools began to create curricula, the Atlas mapping software was helpful in assessing progress and in sharing curricula among schools.

Creating a curriculum demands a sophisticated approach to educational planning and assessment.  BASIS employed Understanding by Design (UbD).  UbD offers educators and educational planners an inquiry-based method to plan, organize and assess student learning.   

Understanding by Design is not the only approach to educational planning, however it proved its value among the BASIS schools.  One school leader articulated a common sentiment: “Any new curricula that we are creating now is done by using UBD methodology.  We are far more thoughtful about how we plan and in what direction we want to go.”

Click here to see some samples of unit and lesson plans.

[1] Curriculum as defined here refers to all aspects of learning:  in class, school wide, Israel trips, formal, experiential.  We look to see how these different pieces fit together into a coherent whole reflecting the school’s articulated Israel vision.