Scientific Background

Widely used harsh disciplinary methods such as the zero tolerance policy, suspension and expulsion in response to violent or disruptive behavior have proven to be ineffective and counterproductive. Teachers need radically different methods and practical tools for responding to violent students and stressful classroom climates. Matzmichim’s intervention model is based on violence prevention research led by the Gewalt Academy in Germany, which was used to create the German S.O.S Violence Center. The model is also based on studies conducted by senior researchers in the USA, Dr. Diane Felmlee of Penn State University’s Department of Sociology and Criminology and Dr. Robert Faris of UC Davis’ Department of Sociology.  Matzmichim’s principles are drawn from Alternative Violence Project (AVP) and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). This wealth of knowledge has been translated into evidence-based practice and coupled with effective strategies developed by the Founder and CEO of Matzmichim, Mr. Yony Tsouna and his team of professional facilitators.   

Gewalt Academy 

The Academy is an umbrella organization, serving schools, youth centers, community police, social organizations, and other government officials. Ideas and theories from the Academy have been adapted to Matzmichim to improve the school climate in Israel. The knowledge gained in the last decade from Germany’s “Academy of Violence Studies” and other education networks has helped Matzmichim devise and develop tools that have proven to be effective.

 

Cooperation with Dr. Robert Faris, U.S.

Dr. Faris Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California at Davis.
His research areas are Social Psychology, Social Networks, Deviance and Delinquency.
Prof. Robert Faris is offering an alternative approach to understanding why adolescents choose violence – popular kids use bullying, aggression and violence to improve or maintain social status within the peer group. His accurate and well-studied definition of the problem have already enabled Matzmichim to leverage its intervention. Prof. Faris’ research results on the social drivers linked to increased aggression and bullying in youth, and his alternative approach to youth violence are enlightening and allow a greater understanding of the alternative reasons that cause children/adolescents to perpetuate aggression, bullying and violence. We have studied his work in detail during the last five years, and in particular, have been in a close contact with him during the last months, including frequent Skype-meetings to discuss data analysis.

We introduced improvements to our self-developed intervention model based on the research and detailed problem definition of Robert Faris. Joint researches and a practical expertize are planned for the next year.

 

KIVA – Anti-Bullying Approach from Finland

Through our professional exchange with the researcher Dr. Robert Faris, we were introduced to the bullying prevention program of the Finish Organization Kiva. Currently Kiva is regarded, as one of the most acclaimed anti-bullying programs which has been modestly effective at reducing bullying. The program of Kiva was developed at the University Turku/Finland. Kiva works closely with schools and their trainers, who conduct student lessons in classes. The program is followed by partner institutions in many other countries in an around Europe. After our first exchange, we are now examining the approaches of Kiva, to follow up with further cooperation.

More Information on the website.

International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP)

With its restorative practices, IIRP promotes social learning and the reduction of violence and antisocial behavior. By developing theory, practice and conduct research in this realm, IIRP is reaching a great audience all over the world. With the goal of positively influencing human behavior and strengthening civil society, Matzmichim’s principles are drawn from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. This wealth of knowledge has been translated into evidence-based practice and coupled with effective strategies developed by the Founder and CEO of Matzmichim, Mr. Yony Tsouna and his team of professional facilitators. We are in close contact with the organization, their representatives and founders come to Israel often in order to share their knowledge with us. In addition, a few years ago, we traveled to the United States to learn their working methods.

More Information on the website.

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