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
With you and me
Lyrics by Klaus Meine
The Trend of Future-Oriented Pedagogy
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:
- Help children find positive ways to express feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
- Keep children close to their parents and family.
- Maintain familiar routines in daily life. Encourage children to continue to play and socialize with others.
- 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.