Menifa runs intervention programs in the Binyamin Regional Council to prevent hidden dropout occurence and to attend to overt dropouts. However, in light of the fact that these programs do not provide a solution for all dropouts in the area, Menifa offers a teacher training initiative for communities where dropout rates—both hidden and overt—are above average.
In this effort, teachers are trained to become “educators for life,” who execute individualized programs with dropouts at different levels of risk. The program includes the establishment at the regional level of a guided professional internship, and at the local level, persistence and local steering committees in each town where the venture operates. Program partners at the national level include the Department of Regular Attendance and Dropout Prevention, the Division of Education and the Department of Teachers Continuing Education and the Department of Teacher Training of the Ministry of Education.
Purpose of the Program
The ultimate goal of the Menifa teacher training course is to prepare teachers to be agents of profound change to the Israeli education system’s perception of student needs and the role of the teacher.
The program includes professional training, to strengthen teachers’ therapeutic and empathic abilities as well as pedagogical skills. The training includes theoretical and applied lessons aimed at training teachers to be “mentoring teachers” – teachers who are actively involved providing learning and emotional support to the student body, teachers, parents and the school administration.
The mentoring teacher’s main duties are:
- To guide teens in covert dropout situations to avoid their expulsion from the education system;
- To operate, alongside the learning program, a behavior coaching program, which will address the many phenomena that cause dropouts: behavior difficulties, emotional challenges, learning disabilities and more.
Admission requirements for the course have been defined by the Ministry of Education in coordination and cooperation with the Association of Therapeutic Teachers in Israel.
Teacher Training Content
The program is built on the base of three fundamental content areas:
- Familiarity with a broad theoretical background of the pedagogical and emotional needs of the atypical student, drawing on multiple fields of inquiry.
- Personal and professional development of the therapeutic teacher, including the development of practical skills in the field of therapeutic teaching.
- Knowledge, understanding and familiarity with the student population receiving support and guidance from the therapeutic teacher (including populations with particular characteristics or needs).
- Familiarity with the different aspects of the dropout phenomenon;
- Skill acquisition to handle those different aspects of dropping out;
- Theory and practice: internship guidance;
- Familiarity with the range of services for at-risk youth;
- Creating support systems for at-risk youth.
The training program
The training comprises academic courses and a guided internship. During the training – which aims, as stated above, to train teachers to prevent dropout – every trainee works with a particular local youth who has dropped out of school. Teachers who successfully complete the training then serve as dropout prevention “officials” at the school and community level.
The local steering committee is entrusted with data collection and decision making based on those data. The recommendations of the committee will be forwarded to all operators of dropout prevention programs on behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Regular Attendance, the Department of Youth Advancement, various non-profits, etc.
The training will be carried out by a team of experts from Menifa Institute.
Character of the dropout population: The population generally comprises large families of medium to high socio-educational level and medium to low socio-economic status. Some children have been traumatized by stress of the security situation or by terrorist acts, and there are many children with combinations of challenges that are characteristic of the heterogeneous populations of the institutions of the region.
Recruiting appropriate applicants for the program will be carried out primarily by the local institutions’ administrators, and participants will be selected by Menifa Institute.
- Creation of a track in a partnering college granting certification as mentor-teacher; This certificate will serve as a recommendation to school administrators, parents and the Ministry of Education.
- Third Year Practicum – Combined with an annual course of study.
- Internship program – accompanied by a unique internship workshop on the topic of dropout to integrate the intern in Menifa’s dropout prevention program.
- The internship program is unique in the field of education, in that it is not found in the context of special education program, rather as part of a dropout prevention program. As part of the internship, the teacher gains experience teaching groups of students (60%) as well as mentoring students one-on-one (40%) to prevent dropping out.
Curriculum – Menifa Institute
General Studies in Therapeutic Practice
Introduction to Therapeutic and Mentorial Pedagogy
Topics in Educational and Social Psychology and their Connection to Therapeutic and Mentorial Pedagogy
Evaluation, Modeling and Inquiry Tools for Therapeutic/Mentorial Teachers
The Other and Me: Questions in the Philosophy of Education
Ethics and Law: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on the Work of the Therapeutic Teacher
Individual and Systemic Processes
The Individual and the Group
The Therapeutic Teacher’s Role in Handling Behavioral Challenges in the School
Interpersonal and Team-based Work in the Education System: Personal Exploration
Fieldwork Guidance Seminar (Practicum)
Personal and Professional Identity Development: The Work of the Therapeutic Teacher
Optional Concentration: Therapeutic and Mentorial Education for Individuals with Special Needs (Special Education and Gifted Students)
Developmental Psychology: Normative and Non-Normative Progressions and their Connection to Therapeutic and Mentorial Education
Topics in Emotion and Didactics for Students with Learning Disabilities
Giftedness and Excellence in the School
Systems of Separation, Inclusion, and Integration of Students with Special Needs
Development of Work Practices with Associate Teachers and Parents
Optional Concentration: Therapeutic and Mentorial Education in a Multicultural School System
What Motivates Who? Theories of Motivation from a Multicultural Perspective
Interventions for Therapeutic Teachers Working in Multicultural Educational Settings
Tools for Therapeutic Teachers Working in Multicultural Societies
Multiculturalism: Applied Principles
The Ethiopian People of Israel in 2019: Background and Transformations in the Characteristics of the Community and its Culture, Following its Arrival and Absorption to Israel
Fundamentals of Improved Pedagogy
Handling of Learning Challenges and Learning Disabilities, Educational Status Mapping, Diagnosis Reading, and more
Between Teacher and Student: Communication and Emotional Intelligence
Empathy in Education
Methods and Models for Preventing Dropout: Study Plans, Identity Development, Experiences of Success, Structured Learning and Experiential Learning
Outdoor Workshops and Therapy
From Disengagement to Engagement: Topics
The Adolescent and Parental Authority
Individuation and Identity Development in the Religious Community; Coping with Dropouts in the Settlements
Trauma and Post-Trauma: Coping with Emotional Challenges
“Framework” and Boundaries; Frameworks within Frameworks
Where am I Headed? Domain and Place in Experiences of Disengagement
Where to Find Solutions: Practical Information and Guidance for Problem-Solving