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A Meaningful Learning Experience

Israel is known for many things; it is primarily known for its culture, history and the various religions gathered in such a small country. Israel is also known to be the most important “Start-up Nation”, and its impressive and innovative solutions for agriculture; but it is education where we believe, they gather the most impressive and innovative methodologies; starting from a primary premise: the investment on their human resources.


Throughout the 3 weeks of the course (“New pedagogies in the 21st century, for Higher-Education teachers”), we had the opportunity to discover many methodologies used by some of the most important higher-education institutions and universities in the country (such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University, Gordon College of Education, The Technion in Haifa, etc). These methodologies are related to the various professional fields in the market, and yet they maintain the same objective: Developing competitive professionals from Israel to the world.

 


As days went by, we could cover our learning needs through different well-thought methodologies used by our host: Mashav’s Aharon Ofri International Training Center in Jerusalem, presenting a very complete and ad-hoc syllabus and programme, including Cultural Exchange, Enculturation to Israel, Lectures, Workshops, Professional visits, Forums and Discussions, Technology, Online Platforms and Mobile Apps, Essays, Blogs, Project development, Pitches and Presentations. 


All lectures and workshops (facilitated by high-level professionals in the field from different higher-education institutions) surpassed our expectations starting with theoretical sessions in both cases, to enhance the learning experience as we faced a series of challenges becoming students again. This fact itself made us realize first-hand and from a very personal and academic perspective, what our students need to be more engaged with education back in our countries and specifically: our classrooms.


 


Among all the amazing pedagogical methodologies presented, there were philosophical and psychological approaches taught for educational and academic matters, were we could deeply analyze what’s the “added value” we want to share with our students besides the content of a specific course syllabus; with such a basic idea of the human existence like “the search of meaning”, we could understand how a Meaningful Learning Experience means a lot more to a student, than a lecture itself.


 

Following the idea of creating meaningful learning experiences in class, we could realize that using different game strategies and techniques, is a very effective methodology for students to be more engaged and creative; developing critical and lateral thinking, and approaching learning processes from a different perspective (compared to the traditional teaching methodology; considering that nowadays one of the key challenges is to get students’ attention).


Pedagogies, contemporary learning methodologies, technology, philosophy, psychology, etc.  these main topics altogether, facilitated in such particular and effective ways by professionals, were certainly a Meaningful Learning Experience to each one of us; we couldn’t be more thankful to MASHAV and The Aharon Ofri International Training Center for enlightening, inspiring and spreading the seed to 19 different countries.



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