Jewish Art Education (JAE) has developed teaching materials that provide our young children with the conceptual structure for exploring and understanding the history and cultural values expressed through art. Our proven teaching methods build Jewish identity among our Jewish youth by integrating the visual arts into Jewish educational programming.Blowing-of-Shofar-1

The JAE teaching philosophy is compatible with the Reggio Emilia Approach, whose principles focus on respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery. 

This educational methodology also reflects the 25 years of work done in the Visual Understanding in Education project, led by Dr. Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine, two of the recognized leaders in the field of art education.

The curriculum will follow the Inquire/Observe/Understand (I.O.U.) educational process developed by JAE’s founder and president, Myrna Teck, PhD., employing the principles of the Visual Understanding in Education project. 

The I.O.U. method provides the conceptual structure for exploring and understanding the history and cultural values expressed through art. 

 How Our IOU Method Works

The IOU process is a three-step system that engages students and increases their comprehension by focusing on the inherent meaning in a work of art. In summary, here are the three steps in the IOU process:


This initial involvement of the student with the art object is a viewer driven process.  It encourages curiosity as well as investment of interest and enthusiasm with the artwork.  The facilitator may prompt the learners with suggested questions.


This component supports perception and verbalization of observed aspects of the artwork.  It promotes a deeper level of comprehension as the art object is explored.  Even very young children (age 4 and up) can describe what they are seeing. Students will discover meanings which will vary by individual experience and age group.


Time spent focused on answering as many of the questions that arose from the context for the realization of the artwork at a deeper level.  It is sometimes called the “Aha!” moment, as the viewer understands the meaning(s) inherent in the artwork. 

For a sample of the IOU teaching method, view a sample lesson plan here.

For more information about this project and the work of JAE, call us at 1-888-315-8671, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..