A Picture Tells 75,000 Words

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:48 Written by bryfy Tuesday, 27 July 2010 07:07

I like to think that an apparent recent interest in the Jewish adolescent population signifies a trend in the North American Jewish community to begin focusing on this most critical demographic. It is in these years that identity is developed more intensely than in any other age span. It is in these years that teenagers move gradually (or alarmingly) from the strong bonds and attachments that they have with their parents to the new relationships that will also endure with their  friends, role models and the like. And it is this demographic that the Jewish community has paid least attention to in recent years. But that is about to change, I can feel it, I know it, all it takes is a few good educators, with a few good communities (read Federations and Central Agencies), a lot of good congregations, youth groups & youth movements, summer camps, Jewish travel programs, and a few good foundations to join forces and….

Recently my dissertation has attracted some renewed attention. Entitled “Giving Voice to a Generation: The Role of the Peer Group in the identity development of Jewish Teenagers in America” this dissertation focuses on many issues covered in this blog – Jewish adolescents, identity development, formal and informal (nonformal) settings of Jewish education, experiential Jewish education, Israel, popular culture, relationships – to name but a few.

For those of you who want to read my dissertation, I recommend waiting for the book or movie to come out. But in the mean time – a picture really does tell 75,000+ words (click to enlarge)


1 Comment

  1. Adrian Durlester   |  Tuesday, 27 July 2010 at 10:37 am

    The sentiment is nice, but I’m not sure that a Wordle provides a truly significant look into anything much more than the writing style of the author and the author’s subtle prejudices. Not that I disagree with anything you have to say on this blog and elsewhere. I just don’t see the Wordle of your thesis representing anything that’s truly statistically significant to anyone except the committee that is reviewing it. I think, with all due respect, that this is a case that many of us who strive to find ways to utilize technology in education often include in our cautionary notes – it’s more cutesy than relevant. I think I’d rather read your thesis than depend on this Wordle to tell me what it says.

    With a Wordle, as in many things, that output is only as good as the input (and again, that’s not a dig on your thesis – it’s more about the fact that Wordle really is just a data engine and we need to be cautious about reading too much into the results it often presents to us.

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