The Elements Way: Empowering Parents, Educators, and Mentors in the Age of New Media

Gila Cohen Zilka
InSITE 2017  •  2017  •  pp. 917
[This Proceedings paper was revised and published in the journal Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology]

Aim/Purpose: This study was designed to examine the effectiveness of mentor’s work with immigrant children and adolescents at risk, using the Elements Way.

Background: The New Media offers our “screen kids” a lot of information, many behavioral models, and a new type of social communication. The Elements Way is an educational method designed to enhance openness, development, breakthroughs, goal achievement, and transformation in the age of media and social networks.

Methodology: The Elements Way was developed following research on communication in the diversified media, especially new media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and television reality shows, and the study is an examination of the effectiveness of mentors’ work with immigrant children and adolescents at risk, using the Elements Way. All mentors had been trained in the Elements Way. The study population included 640 mentors working with immigrants’ children in Israel. The work was conducted in 2010-2013. The mixed-methods approach was selected to validate findings.

Contribution: Empowering children and enhancing their ability to cope; Creating openness and sharing, making children more attentive to the significant adults in their lives; Supporting children who face the complex reality that characterizes our age.

Findings: Significant differences were found in the mentors’ conduct with the children. Work programs were designed and implemented with care and consistency, and mentors succeeded in generating change within the children and achieving desired goals. Of the 640 participating mentors, 62 were not able to promote the child, and interviews with them revealed that their work with the children was not consistent with the Elements Way and began from a different vantage point.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Success factors: Self-awareness and awareness of one’s surroundings. Empathy. Willingness to engage in significant interactions. Self-cleansing and self-reflection. Ability to engage in a personal and interpersonal dialogue. Ability to accept and contain the child. Cooperation with the child in creating a work program and assisting the child to achieve the goals that were set in the program.

Recommendation for Researchers: Future studies should focus on analyzing the discussions of children and adolescents, to add depth to our insights regarding children and adolescents’ perception of the mentors’ work from their perspective.

Impact on Society: Finding the “keys” to openness, development, goal achievement, and transformation in our work with “screen kids.”

Future Research: Studies that are designed to examine the effectiveness of mentor’s work with immigrant children and adolescents at risk, using the Elements Way.
screen kids, empowering, new media, immigrant children, children at risk, mentors, the Elements Way
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