Although Classrooms Without Borders (CWB) is a new non-profit educational organization founded in February 2011 by Dr. Zipora Gur in association with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, it is not without history. Executive Director, Dr. Gur brings more than 30 years experience as an innovative educational leader in Jewish education. During her tenure with the Agency for Jewish Learning, she developed unique professional development programs for hundreds of teachers and students. In her new capacity, she continues to demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for education in general, but Jewish education in particular. Over her career in education, Dr. Gur has led study seminars to Israel and Poland for more than 400 educators from private, parochial and public school in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Thousands of students have benefited from their teachers participation in these life changing experiences. Past participants reported that the study seminars changed their world view and deepened their knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust, Poland, Israel and the complex interrelationships among the cultures, people, socioeconomics and governmental structures.
CWB envisions itself as the premier provider of experiential, extended term professional development for teachers in the metropolitan Pittsburgh region. CWB is different from other providers of teacher training because it offers unique travel experiences enriched with rigorous content, scholarly readings and direct application to classroom instruction. CWB connects teachers and learners through customized professional growth programs that result in positive changes in the way teachers instruct students.
Typically, teachers participate in traditional inservice training programs that are frequently short-term, unrelated to actual classroom practice, limited in follow-up and absent of primary source materials. Meaningful Professional Development (PD), however, includes more in-depth study and immersion in work-related learning opportunities for practicing teachers. Professional Development has dual connotations. It refers to: the actual learning opportunities in which teachers engage which includes the content and context, pedagogy and purpose of specific activities; and the learning that may occur when teachers participate in these activities which also includes the transformations in their knowledge, understandings, skills and commitments. The form and content of professional development is predicated on a vision of teaching. In other words, what and how we want teachers to teach determines what and how we expect teachers to learn. CWB focuses on helping teachers learn through hands-on, experiential activities that employ the study seminar destinations as the textbook and the scholar, guide as the facilitator.
CWB Non-Discrimination Policy
Classrooms Without Borders will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification in accordance with state and federal law.
CWB Disability Policy
The full inclusion of people of all abilities is a core value of Classrooms Without Borders. If you have a disability or need an accommodation, please email Robin@classroomswithoutborders.org