mercoledì 4 giugno 2014

Ricordando il Feuerstein

Professor Reuven Feuerstein was the Founder and Chairman of the Feuerstein Institute.
A clinical, developmental and cognitive psychologist, Professor Feuerstein was renowned for his groundbreaking work in demonstrating that intelligence is not fixed but modifiable. In 1992, Professor Feuerstein was awarded the Israel Prize for Social Sciences. In 2012, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
For more than 50 years, and in over 80 countries, Professor Feuerstein’s theories and applied systems have been implemented in both clinical and classroom settings. Professor Feuerstein’s theory on the malleability of intelligence has led to more than 2,000 scientific research studies and countless case studies with various populations. Professor Feuerstein's methods have found their way from Israel to the Amazons, Rwanda and the Inuit of Canada.
Among the theories and applied systems that Professor Feuerstein developed are Structural Cognitive Modifiability, Mediated Learning Experience, (MLE), Cognitive Map, Dynamic Assessment: Learning Propensity Assessment Device (LPAD)Instrumental Enrichment Tools (IE), and Shaped Modifying Environments (SME). These interlocked practices provide educators and therapists with the ability to systematically develop the cognitive functioning of students and patients.


lunedì 2 giugno 2014

Dal Feuerstein Institute comunicazioni rispetto al Workshop Internazionale Shoresh 2014

Dear Friends,

We would like to cordially invite you to take part of our program at the 35th Feuerstein International Summer Workshop!

The ATC meeting will take place on Wednesday July 2nd at 19:30; the agenda will be distributed closer to the meeting.
If you have suggestions for agenda items please send them to me by June 15. (Please note that the agenda is already quite full and therefore we cannot guarantee to include all suggestions.)

Please RSVP if you plan to attend the ATC meeting.
The "Shoresh" Summer Workshop will be held at the NH Zandvoort Hotel located at Burgemeester van Alphenstraat, 63,2041KG Zandvoort, the Netherlands.

Shoresh Evening Events Program:

Sun June 29    18:45               Opening Ceremony with greetings from:
                                                Mr. Niek Meijer, Mayor of Zandvoord-an-see
                                                Kees Blockland, CEO of the Landstede Group of the Netherlands
                                                Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, Chairman of The Feuerstein Institute, Israel
Orna Segal, CEO of The Feuerstein Institute, Israel
                                                Musical performance by Peetjie Engels
Tue July 1       20:00               Prof. Reuven Feuerstein – An Evening of Memory and Memories

Wed July 2      19:30               ATC Meeting

Thu July 3       18:45               Guest Lecture: Memory for the future
                                                Prof. Moshe Bar, Bar Ilan University, Israel and Harvard University, USA

Mon July 7       20:00               Parallel sessions:       
·        Blind Date with Roman Gouzman

·        Prof. Alex Kozulin on Recent Dynamic Assessment and Cognitive Intervention Research

Tue July 8       20:00               Parallel Presentations of Projects:
·        1. How to build a Feuerstein Clinical Center, Antonia Madella Noja (TogetherToGo, Italy)
2. How to engage a large school system into IE project, Meir Ben Hur (IRI, USA)
3. Implementation of the Feuerstein approach in Australia, (ISV, Australia)

·        The effect of Dog Assisted Activities on adolescents in a psychiatric hospital for youth using Mediated Learning Experience method – a pilot study, Judith Ben-Michael and Dr. Micha Ben-Michael, (Dogs Make a Difference Foundation, the Netherlands)

Wed July 9      20:00               Closing ceremony

Workshop Internazionale

Articolo di Kate Bellanca: Professional Learning Experiences: there is no " quick fix"

Cari lettori
pubblico volentieri il presente articolo scritto dalla collega Kate Bellanca di Chicago, Formatrice esperta nel metodo Feuerstein e collaboratrice del Feuerstein institute da diversi anni.

May 27, 2014, Volume 1, Issue 4, No. 14
KathleenBellancaKathleen Bellanca is the CEO of International Renewal Institute, the chief authorized provider of FIE materials and school and teacher development programs in the United States and Canada.
Driving Question: How Do We Advance Students' Critical Thinking Through Professional Development?
As professional development providers, we need to help our teachers develop the abilities we all know they have. This is especially important when it comes to teachers abilities and capability to teach students to think critically, collaborate, communicate, and problem solve.

The professional development of our teachers also is one of the most important areas to address in today's educational system. With the latest educational reforms via the Common Core, teachers are being bombarded with in-services consisting of one or two-day lectures before taking the raw information back to the classroom. How do we know if they have learned anything? How do we know that the implementation is how it was designed? Just as we expect our students to perform at the highest level, we should expect the same from our teachers...and prepare them to do so well.
Changing how we conduct professional development has to be the first way to create change in our students' continual learning experiences. Deep change, the type needed for the Common Core—4C marriage, only happens with dedication, hard work, and continuous systematic support. It doesn't happen with band aides or quick fixes overnight. With the Common Core and thinking, there is no such thing as a "quick fix". It's not enough just to teach our teachers new ways of addressing content when they also need strategies for eliciting students' thought processes. By teaching teachers the cognitive processes, we prepare them to teach students to ask questions and to understand what and why they are learning. This is no easy feat.
What is a new vision for professional development?
Through the work of Reuven Feuerstein's theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability and his teaching methodologies of Mediated Learning Experience, our team has adjusted the idea of how we teach teachers. In order to ready teachers to work with students we have them "learn from doing". This unique approach not only is geared to changing the teachers practice in the classroom, but also to changes in their mindset—their beliefs about the students' capabilities to think and learn.
Learning by Doing
Reuven Feuerstein distinguishes between "direct learning" and "mediated learning" as a way of teaching. Direct learning is a "sit and get" approach. Mediated learning is rooted in a thoughtful interaction between the student and the teacher. He teaches that mediated learning is at the heart of change – structural change. As a result, mediated learning experiences are a learning-by-doing approach that focuses on correcting or developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. By working together with the teachers' interactions and asking deeper questions, students learn from their errors and develop strategies to overcome underdeveloped cognitive skills.

The layout of professional development uses the same ideology—lecture replaced by an interactive focus on the process for learning. The interaction must have a focus on critical thinking and problem solving – not content. As part of the initial face-to-face professional interaction, we enable teachers to learn, understand, and implement the elicitation of specific thinking skills or what Feuerstein calls "cognitive functions" for themselves and for their students.

By readying teachers to think about their own thinking they can then pass these functions to their students. When teachers understand what "analyzing" really means (to separate into constituent parts or elements) they can teach their students, thus giving students the verbal tools for precise communication of what and how they have learned.

The International Renewal Institute's initial professional development design is laid out to accomplish these objectives:
  • Improve teachers' ability to advance students' academic progress and close the achievement gap by enhancing general problem solving skills and bridging improved thinking effectiveness into specific content area applications across the curriculum.
  • Enable educators to develop their students' cognitive functions by applying more efficient and effective thinking and problem solving skills to improve schoolwork and daily living skills.
  • Teach teachers to identify, mediate, and strengthen students' key underdeveloped cognitive functions.
Providing Support and Assistance
Learning about the Feuerstein method and his applied methods is the only the first part of our Professional Development continuum. It is not enough just to teach teachers these strategies for producing change in their students thinking capabilities. As with Common Core introductions, the same question comes up. "How do we know if they got it?"

In order for a full-blown implementation in classrooms, what the school leaders do to support the teachers' practice is essential. What does that mean? It's not just the teachers; it's the leadership too. Professional development for the administration is also important. They must be fully involved, not just half way, but fully involved. Additionally, on-site visits throughout the year by the consultant are critical. The consultant comes into classroom throughout the year to ensure the goals, communication, and coordination for a shaping modifiable environment are met.

Teachers, teacher leaders, principals, and other personnel meet with the visiting consultant five times throughout the school year. The consultant visits classrooms, provides feedback, oversees and reviews the teachers' progress of classroom implementation, solves problems that require school/district decision making, coordinates services, guides evaluation associated with the project and develops sustainability plan and procedures.

Over at least a three-year implementation process, we see both change in the teaching and the learning. The classroom and the school climate change. They not only become better teachers, but also become more collaborative with each other and build professional learning communities for solving problems and encouraging each other to better serve their students.

Articolo: i tre doni lasciati da Reuven Feuerstein articolo di Costa e Jackson

Gift 1: Structural Cognitive Modifiability

"Intelligence is not a static structure, but an open, dynamic system that can continue to develop throughout life!" These revolutionary words make an enormous difference in how teachers, parents and psychologists perceive the role of education. If intelligence is modifiable, and if indeed intelligence can be taught and learned, education has a much greater role than might have been previously imagined: the role to grow the intelligence of ALL students, including those labeled as "underachieving" or "learning disabled". Reuven Feuerstein has substantiated this plausibility of this role by proving that learning impairments are reversible with the right mediated learning experiences.

Gift 2: Mediated Learning Experience

"Human beings have the unique characteristic of being able to modify themselves no matter how they start out. Even in born barriers and traumas can be overcome with belief and the right mediation."  -Reuven Feuerstein
Teachers are mediators of learning. The word mediate is derived from the word middle. Mediators interpose themselves between a person and some event, problem, conflict, challenge, or other perplexing situation. The mediator intervenes in such a way as to enhance another person's self-directed learning.

Mediation is an interactive process that strengthens the relationship between teacher and student.; a process that is critical for students who have been led to doubt their capacity for learning. Mediators influence the intensity, flow, directionality, importance, excitement, and impact of information coming to the awareness of an individual. One way they do this is through probing questions posed through discussion that includes purposeful links to personal references that engage the learner, enabling him/her to investigate and critically analyze, hypothesize, theorize and elaborate on information or tasks. The questions bring consciousness to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic systems in which experiences are held. This activates the neural pathways of the original experience, and in looking back, recovers omitted and sometimes valuable information. These neural pathways make the learning process more efficient and effective. Learners become motivated to use "Habits of Mind" that expand their learning; Habits of Mind such as: applying past knowledge to new situations; gathering data through all senses; and remaining open to continuous learning (Costa, and Kallick, 2000). These responses confirm the learner's ability to apply complex cognitive acts and dispositions while strengthening the teacher's confidence in her/his role as a mediator capable of eliciting and growing intelligence.

Gift 3: Mediative Environments

A mediator also intervenes between the individual, or group, and the environment with the intention of creating conditions that will engage and promote intellectual growth (Feuerstein, 1997); "conditions that address factors that are barriers to learning and intellectual growth; factors like poverty, prejudicing perceptions associated with race or ethnicity, feelings of failure, absence of enrichment, and stigma associated with the pernicious marginalizing labels relegated to their underachievers or those with variable learning needs (Jackson, 2011, p. 157). In mediative environments the belief in Structural Cognitive Modifiability is so pervasive that teachers are committed to mediating their practice so these factors are explicitly addressed" (Jackson, 2011, p. 157). The focus of instruction shifts from remediation of what is viewed as weaknesses to an enriching environment in which dialogue, explicit development of cognitive processes and Habits of Mind, and dynamic assessment are provided to identify, amplify and nurture intellectual growth.

These gifts from Reuven Feuerstein have powerfully negated the myths about the capacity of underperforming students for intellectual growth. We have witnessed transformation of students who have been exposed to the diving tools of Reuven Feuerstein; a transformation of not only their intellectual development, but the transformation in their belief in their capacity to apply their intelligence for self-actualization and personal success. This transformation has deemed Reuven Feuerstein's learning system as "the most significant innovation in educational psychology of the twentieth century" (Burgess, 2000, p. 3).

Articolo: Costa and Jackson: Three Gifts to Educators from the Genius of Reuven Feuerstein

May 30 2014, Volume 1, Issue 5, No. 17
 ArtCostaArt Costa has been writing and consulting about critical thinking for four decades. His writings focus on the theory called "habits of mind."

Yvette Jackson is Vice President, National Urban Alliance and a life-long advocate for Feuerstein’s work and the need for children of color and poverty to have equal access to instruction and programs that provide them with critical thinking and problem solving skills.
" Change the input and the brain changes accordingly." - Reuven Feuerstein

Reuven Feuerstein is an Israeli clinical, developmental, and cognitive psychologist. He is the founder and director of the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (ICELP) in Jerusalem, Israel. For more than 50 years Feuerstein's theories and applied systems have been implemented in both clinical and classroom settings internationally, with more than 80 countries around the world. Succinctly described, Reuven Feuerstein is both a diviner of intelligence and a catalyst for changing belief about the intellectual potential of ALL students: belief of teachers who hold the destiny of students in their hands; belief of policymakers who narrate the lives of students (especially students marginalized by race, poverty, and learning differences); and belief of students (and adults) who, due to environmental conditions and genetic dispositions, have been previously led to doubt their vast intellectual capacity for learning and self-actualization (Jackson, 2011).

As Director of Psychological Services in Europe after World War II, Reuven was responsible for assigning prospective Jewish candidates for immigration from the European continent to educational programs in Israel. Upon their arrival, children were subjected to a series of tests, including IQ tests. Their poor results did not surprise Feuerstein. However, he recognized that whenever he guided these children through introspective questioning that created bridges to familiar experiences, the children's performance improved.

The improvement made Feuerstein question the current beliefs regarding the notion of a fixed intelligence. "What if, instead of measuring a child's acquired knowledge and intellectual skills, the process of learning was evaluated first? And what if intelligence was not a fixed attributed, measurable once and for all? What if intelligence can be taught?" To address these questions, he created dynamic assessments and instructional tools capable of both diagnosing and addressing the cause of cognitive impairments that traditional methods were incapable of doing. These tools are diving rods, designed specifically to tap intellectual ability that lay stagnant due to lack of experiences that stimulate academic learning and personal determination (Jackson, 2011, p. 56). While his gifts to psychological and clinical practices are many, this brief article illuminates 3 gifts of particular significance to educators.