Impact of Melton Learning

Research Shows: Melton Changes Lives

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for a short video on what students say about Melton.

A summary of the scientific study A Journey of Heart and Mind:Transformative Jewish Learning in Adulthood by Lisa D. Grant, Diane Tickton Schuster, Meredith Woocher, Steven M. Cohen, eds., Jewish Education Series, 2 (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary Press, 2004)

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning school's exert several sorts of impact upon their adult Jewish learners. Among the more pronounced are the following:

  • Enhanced appreciation for Jewish learning and greater competence in text study
  • Enriched meaning and purpose associated with ritual observance, prayer, holiday celebration, and organized communal involvement
  • Broader sensitivity to ethical implications in everyday life
  • Increased attachment to the Jewish Community and Jewish People
  • Expanded engagement in the family as Jewish teachers and role models
  • Greater support for enrolling children in Jewish Day Schools.

The most widely reported changes after Melton study :

  • Comfort in studying Jewish texts (50%)
  • More committed advocate of support for Jewish education (41%)
  • More appreciation for observant Jews (36%)
  • See ethical implications in ordinary activities (33%)
  • More Jewish learning on my own (31%)

The Melton experience apparently lends understanding, meaning and purpose to the learners’ Jewish lives. Alumni claim it vastly enriches their appreciation, in a very deep sense, of the activities in which they have already been engaged.

Satisfaction with the Melton School
By any measure of “consumer satisfaction,” Melton alumni expressed high levels of satisfaction with the program. We find: Very satisfied or somewhat satisfied median = 93%.

These, and other positive outcomes, emerged in our social scientific study of Melton learners. The study combined over 30 personal qualitative interviews of students and staff with a quantitative sample survey of 346 students completing the two-year Mini-School program in 16 sites across the United States. The strong overlap in the qualitative and quantitative analyses went far to allay whatever concerns we may have had either with the selective nature of our qualitative investigation, or with the scope and representativeness of our survey sample.

Self-reported changes
Respondents reported intermediate levels of change (about a quarter answered “to a great extent”) with respect to the following illustrative items: more active as a Jewish resource in the family, more active as a Jewish role model, more attached to the Jewish community, feeling more spiritual, more attached to the Jewish people, more in favor of Jewish day schools, and making a new set of [Jewish] friends.

The changes in their attitudes are especially pronounced with respect to learning, education, text study, and related matters. Secondarily, the report changes with respect to their roles within the Jewish family or the Jewish community.

For the complete research study report:

Please visit the International Florence Melton Adult School of Jewish Learning

The Impact of Melton on the Lives of Its Students

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