Over 20 teachers participated in this year’s Hidden Sparks Learning Lenses course in early July, and hundreds of high school students in Israel will benefit from their newly acquired skills.
Hidden Sparks, initiated in the U.S.A. and now operating in seven Israeli schools under the auspices of the Society for Advancement of Education, is a program that educates teachers to respond to the individual learning needs of their students. This is done through training teachers to be coaches, who then coach other teachers in their schools. As it is often difficult for teachers to identify and respond to the needs of each student in large classrooms, Hidden Sparks is clearly of utmost importance.
The course, which took place in Jerusalem at the Mae Boyar High School, was facilitated by Hollis Dannaham from Hidden Sparks New York, and Roxana Neiman, the program’s Israeli educational director. The course consisted of an intensive four day training, and an additional day for external, internal, and incoming coaches.
The Learning Lenses course, which takes place each summer, trains teachers to become coaches. During this course, participants were taught about the three types of learning lenses: neuro-development, temperament, and ecology (life and classroom environment).
The study of each lens is based upon the work of experts in the field. The teachers also explored strategies of differentiated teaching, and applied their knowledge to case studies.
Participants reacted positively to the course:
“You changed how I think about my students in many ways. I am now able to observe them more in depth, and to plan lessons that will be appropriate for students with learning and behavioral difficulties.”
“The case study that I brought to the course was very complex. Now the lenses will help me to focus and break the process down into stages.”
“I truly believe in this method, and am waiting to focus on my students through the learning lenses.”
SAE is looking forward to another productive year of individualized student instruction with a new cadre of internal coaches and enriched veteran coaches.