Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is integral to education and human development. It’s how we acquire and apply knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve goals and cultivate supportive relationships, among other things.
In Israel, Reichman University’s SEL.IL Center is performing groundbreaking work in this field.
SEL.IL founder Dr. Daphne Kopelman-Rubin pioneered the I Can Succeed (ICS) program, which grew from educating junior high school students with learning disabilities and ADHD a decade ago to reaching all students aged three to 16 in hundreds of Israeli kindergartens and schools.
With long-standing support from the Azrieli Foundation, the SEL.IL Center promotes SEL through research, implementation, sharing knowledge, advising policymakers and training educators.
“SEL.IL strives to use cutting-edge technology to personalize solutions and scale up implementation,” says Dr. Kopelman-Rubin.
The Center leads systemic SEL implementation in several municipalities, tailoring it to each city’s needs. For instance, work with Tel Aviv-Jaffa yielded SEL standards, articulating what children should know and be able to do based on their age and culture.
The town of Zikhron Ya’akov (located on Mount Carmel) implements ICS in all its schools and has formed a local SEL leadership team, trained by SEL.IL. Baka el-Gharbiya (a predominantly Arab city) recently launched a process to develop culturally appropriate conceptual SEL frameworks and enhance skills via an SEL accelerator for local entrepreneurs. And Nahariya (the northernmost coastal city in Israel) aims to equip educators to foster an inclusive educational environment.
“The Azrieli Foundation’s support is crucial,” says Dr. Kopelman-Rubin. “Without it, we could not perform innovative work on such a large scale.”