Yad Hanadiv’s long-standing involvement in the field of Education reflects the ambition to improve the capacity of the education system to promote quality teaching and learning. We favour approaches that are evidence-based, drawing on research and practical experience in Israel and around the world. We are committed to using evaluation to continuously refine implementation.
The Education Programme is working to upgrade in-school professional development of Israeli teachers – to influence the quality of teaching, and ultimately of student learning at scale. The Hashkafa Initiative, a partnership with the Ministry of Education operating in 600 schools throughout the country, emphasizes in-school professional development led by teachers.
Yad Hanadiv joined with the Ministry of Education in 2007 to create Avney Rosha – the Israel Institute for School Leadership. In addition to providing professional development for head teachers, Avney Rosha focuses on identifying, selecting and training new head teachers and developing their capabilities as instructional leaders.
The Foundation’s past achievements in Education include the establishment of Educational Television, the Open University and the Centre for Educational Technology (CET). In 2011, Yad Hanadiv assisted CET in establishing MindCET, an innovation incubator for educational technology.
Yad Hanadiv's core strategies and areas of focus
Yad Hanadiv’s focus on Head Teachers is founded on the premise that Head Teachers who systematically address the improvement of student learning, who possess the knowledge and are acquainted with effective work methods, influence the culture of schools, teachers and teaching practices, thereby improving student learning. In 2007 Yad Hanadiv and the Ministry of Education established Avney Rosha – The National Institute for School Leadership.
Avney Rosha was entrusted with the authority to identify, train and provide professional development for all Head Teachers throughout the country. It emphasizes pedagogical leadership, building practical knowledge resources, developing learning systems and hands-on training, early career professional development, and fuller use of knowledge and experience in decision making.
Over more than a decade, Avney Rosha has provided intensive training for 2,000 new Head Teachers (half of the Head Teachers in Israel). An evaluation carried out by the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education in 2012 found that: 80% of Head Teachers saw improving teaching and learning as their main mission (vs a 5% initial benchmark when Avney Rosha was established). The rate at which graduates of preparatory programmes take up positions as Head Teachers has doubled from 25% to 50% and is on a par with international standards.
Yad Hanadiv has supported Avney Rosha in setting and maintaining high standards, primarily through emphasis on the development of verified practical knowledge and its integration into all activities, and by backing Avney Rosha’s efforts to maintain a long-term strategic focus. In the context of Yad Hanadiv’s overarching strategy on the quality of teaching and learning, Avney Rosha has been pivotal in providing clear standards for Head Teachers and the professional support to attain them.
Avney Rosha Website
Yad Hanadiv has a long tradition of support for cutting-edge ideas and entrepreneurship in the education system and efforts to utilize technology to address real-life pedagogical challenges. This tradition reaches back to the introduction of Educational Television in 1966, and establishment of the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) in 1970. CET has become the leading organisation in Israel in the planning and development of technological products for the education system. MindCET, a CET spinoff founded in 2012, received support for a ‘start-up’ environment in which teachers and entrepreneurs work together to design technological aids that address practical challenges.
Yad Hanadiv has backed a highly ambitious initiative to personalize learning through the development of an Adaptive Learning System developed by CET. In sharp contrast with the 'one size fits all' approach that predominates in schools and classrooms, adaptive learning aims to: match students’ capabilities with validated exercises and assignments (referred to as learning items); analyse pupils’ responses through diagnostics of progress; and employ ‘big data’ to build personalized sequences of learning items, clues, demonstrations and feedback. The aim is to reach large numbers of pupils across all grade levels and core school subjects within seven years and to measurably improve academic gains, with a particular emphasis on underachieving pupils.
Beyond the direct benefits for students and teachers, the data systematically gathered has potential to provide vital information on how pupils actually learn and to inform the continued development of learning materials and teachers’ professional development.
The Israel Initiative for Applied Education Research was founded in 2003 as a joint venture of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Ministry of Education and Yad Hanadiv. Modelled on the US National Research Council, its aim is to provide decision makers with evidence-based, critically reviewed scientific research to decision makers, in order to boost their efforts to improve achievement in Israeli education. Since the beginning of 2010 the Initiative has operated under the auspices of the Academy. The Steering Committee, headed by the former President of the Academy, consults with the Ministry of Education’s Chief Scientist, leading officials and other stakeholders in selecting its areas of activity.
Initiative for Applied Education Research Website
Social and Emotional Learning
Exploring frameworks to advance students’ social and emotional learning
Disadvantaged students have fewer opportunities to master intrapersonal skills (such as emotional regulation, self-efficacy and motivation) and interpersonal skills (such as empathy, teamwork and communication). Research suggests that students who improve their social and emotional skills experience greater success in school settings, build stronger relationships with family and peers, earn higher wages, and live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Recognizing that SEL is key to promoting social mobility, we are ‘learning by doing’ in an effort to determine what role Yad Hanadiv might play in promoting effective SEL for disadvantaged students across Israel. We have assembled a portfolio of SEL-oriented projects to gauge which practices are effective and under what conditions. Our current focus is on providing children with SEL opportunities and building on and helping to integrate them into the Israeli school system, especially in Israel’s social and geographic periphery.
Yad Hanadiv's own publications and media, materials produced by our grantees, and other items we have found useful in our work