Social and Emotional Learning

Nishmat HaTorah Outdoor Training

The need for 21st-century skills in today’s economy has raised awareness of the parallel need to prepare young people for the world of employment and society by helping them to cultivate the necessary social and emotional skills.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process of developing and applying the skills, attitudes, and values that help individuals and communities to thrive. It can assist students to acquire and apply the knowledge and attitudes they need in order to develop healthy identities, manage their emotions, and achieve personal and collective goals. It helps them to feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions

SEL also advances educational equity and excellence by enhancing academic performance, fostering positive relationships, reducing stress, and promoting overall well-being in schools. Its implementation requires a rigorous and meaningful curriculum for instruction, and ongoing evaluation.

Because SEL is integral to education and human development today, it is crucial to the successful integration of Netzach’s Charedi graduates into the workforce as confident and engaged members of wider society. Netzach has embarked on a pioneering project to design and implement a comprehensive SEL curriculum that is suitable for implementation in Charedi schools.

Netzach’s SEL curriculum was developed in 2022 and 2023 by a steering committee comprised of senior school leadership from across the network, in partnership with academic experts in education and psychology from Reichman University. The curriculum adapts contemporary educational methodologies to a religious society and education system. This includes developing language that religious teachers can use with their students to discuss diversity and tolerance of others, developing coping methods to deal with difficult social situations, and even learning how to communicate with non-religious colleagues and managers when such situations arise. This course is a crucial part of Netzach’s enhanced teacher training program.

The curriculum aims to address the specific needs and challenges of Netzach schools, such as promoting diversity and inclusion, enhancing resilience, and coping skills, and supporting individuals with mental health challenges. The curriculum is based on the five core competencies of SEL: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

The curriculum’s introduction involves a roll-out to all teaching and support staff in all the Network schools starting in Fall 2023. Through a series of in-person workshops, coaching sessions, and peer learning groups, the staff is being trained on SEL principles and practices. They will learn how to integrate SEL skills into their daily interactions with students and colleagues. The curriculum will be fully implemented in schools during 2024, with ongoing monitoring and evaluation to measure its impact and effectiveness.

Michoel Nachtiler, CEO of the Netzach Educational Network, says: “We hope that by investing in SEL, we will succeed in creating a more positive, supportive, and engaging learning environment for all of our students and staff. This will also contribute to our broader goal of the successful integration of our Charedi graduates into Israeli society as confident and contributing adults.”

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