A Visit to Efrata College of Education, Jerusalem, Israel

A colleague of mine, Dr. David Brody, teaches at a college that happens to be around the corner from where I am staying in Jerusalem. I asked if I might visit his class. He agreed, and also arranged for a student to translate for me. David trains students to become early childhood educators in the Efrata religious school system. Many of the students, all females, have had one year of service in the army. They are all around 19-20 years old and will most likely be married within the year, and mothers soon after.

Young women in Efrata College classroom

Here is what I saw: Thirty five young inquisitive women squeezed into a tiny room at 5:00 p.m. David, an exceptionally gifted educator, guided the students through a lecture on Dr. Mildred Parton’s Stages of Play development. The students responded with questions, challenging remarks, skepticism, and comments, while everyone seemed to be chatting and eating.Nevertheless, the students appeared engaged and eager to learn, as reflected in their questions. They questioned everything David said, making the content come alive for me and possibly for them too.

One question asked was, “what is the difference between a child doing nothing and a child watching?”

How would you answer this question?