Opportunities, Challenges and Benefits of Group Interventions in Schools During COVID-19 Social Distancing

Opportunities, Challenges and Benefits of Group Interventions in Schools During COVID-19 Social Distancing

A Training Program and Its Outcomes and Recommendations

The author recommends listening to “Wind of Change” by the Scorpions before reading this article.

The world is closing in

Did you ever think

That we could be so close, like brothers

The future’s in the air

I can feel it everywhere

Blowing with the wind of change

  Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow
share their dreams

With you and me

 

Lyrics by Klaus Meine

Introduction

The Trend of Future-Oriented Pedagogy

Dr. Dimona Yaniv

Traditional teaching and learning methods are transitioning toward personalization, which incorporates each student’s needs, potential and capabilities, as well as their interests. Achieving the goal of individualization is integrated into the process in the program titled Future Thinking and Future-Oriented Pedagogy, which consists of six key principles that the education system must focus on to succeed: personalization, collaboration, informality, glocalism, change and integration (The Pedagogical Administration | Israeli Ministry of Education, 2018).

COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychological Impact

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that the novel coronavirus pandemic would have a major psychological impact on people throughout the world, stating: “In public mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety.” (Mental health and COVID-19, 2020).

In March 2020, the WHO conveyed four recommendations to children’s caregivers:

  1. Help children find positive ways to express feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
  2. Keep children close to their parents and family.
  3. Maintain familiar routines in daily life. Encourage children to continue to play and socialize with others.
  4. Discuss COVID-19 with your children in an honest and age-appropriate way. Children will observe adults’ behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times (Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak, 2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic caught the Israeli educational system in the midst of the transition to personalization. The volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) caused by the coronavirus now requires that we redefine and evolve our strategies and methods in order to assist students and teachers in enduring the pandemic’s broad, life-altering social and emotional effects.

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About the Author

Dimona YanivDimona Yaniv, Psy.D. is an educational counselor with 30-plus years of experience in teaching (grades 1-12), school counseling, counselor training and teacher mentoring. Academic lecturer and founder/director of psychological counseling private practice focusing on personality and parenting. In-depth experience in group psychotherapy. Currently Dimona trains students at David Yellin Academic College of Education and teachers at the Central Teacher Training School of the Israeli Ministry of Education. She earned her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) at the Professional School of Psychology, Sacramento, CA and her Master of Science in Applied Educational Psychology at Northeastern University, Boston. MA. In 2011 Dimona was awarded The Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and she studied at the University of Maryland.

View all posts by Dimona Yaniv

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