As the school year in Israel is about to begin, Arutz Sheva visited the Gogya Center of the AMIT network schools in Ra’anana.

Gogya is a formalized program instituted to train all of AMIT’s teachers on how to adopt and implement the various innovative teaching methods which have led to the tremendous success of the AMIT network of schools.

The name ‘Gogya’ originates from the word pedagogy since the purpose of the center is to educate teachers on how to best instruct their students. Its long-term goal is to open the center to teachers of all schools in Israel beyond just AMIT teachers, once the new center receives sufficient charitable funding.

Arutz Sheva met Education Professor Richard Elmore of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Dr. Amnon Eldar, director general of the AMIT network.

Prof. Elmore said he expects significant changes in teaching and learning methods over the next decade, “because children are going to have access to learn from many more sources.”

At the same time, he stressed, teachers still have a major effect on children’s education and on their lives in general.

“The role of the teacher is to teach what we’re increasingly understanding as something called executive function - the ability of young people to make judgments, to integrate different sources of information and to make decisions on what to believe and what not to believe,” said Prof. Elmore.

Dr. Eldar said that children need to be more active when they are at school.

“Today they are very passive,” he told Arutz Sheva. “They have lectures and they don’t have any activities in school. So we need to teach the teachers how to do projects, how to do theme work in schools.”

In order to bring about the desired change, said Prof. Elmore, it is necessary to alter the quality of the people who enter the teaching force.

“Attracting powerful talent to the learning sector is going to be the most important way to improve the system, and I think both the United States and Israel are struggling in this respect,” he said. “The status of teachers has declined and we need to reinvigorate the profession.”

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