Impact or Bias? Measuring Cause and Effect in Jewish Education (Webinar)

By Adam Gamoran

Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA), February 1, 2010

Education researchers have become increasingly aware of the challenges of measuring the impact of educational practices, programs, and policies. Too often what appears to be cause and effect may actually reflect pre-existing differences between program participants and non-participants. A variety of strategies are available to surmount this challenge, but the strategies are often costly and difficult to implement. Examples from studies on general and Jewish education will address the challenges, identify strategies that respond to the challenges, and suggest how the difficulties posed by these strategies may be addressed. The 2009 Birthright Israel study, purporting to find a positive correlation between Birthright Israel participation and lower intermarriage rates among participants, is presented as a case study. While recognizing that it came closer to being a valid experiment than most studies on Jewish education, Gamoran offers a critique of its shortcomings and suggests how it be set up to function as a true experiment.

Topic: Israel Experience, Education, Program Evaluation, Scholarship, Academic Research

Genre: Film

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Gamoran, Adam. Impact or Bias? Measuring Cause and Effect in Jewish Education (Webinar). Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA). 1 February 2010:


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