INSTRUMENTAL ENRICHMENT (IE):
Instrumental Enrichment is a cognitive programme designed by Professor Feuerstein, whose main purpose is, through mediation, to correct deficient cognitive functions and thus enhance people's capacity and propensity to learn.
It consists of fourteen instruments (paper and pencil exercises) each of which has the explicit aim of developing specific cognitive functions. These exercises are supported by teacher's guides and are graded with later learning based on mastery of earlier tasks. There is nevertheless some degree of flexibility in the order of presentation.
Consistent with the aims of the programme, the exercises are designed purely as vehicles for improving thinking and learning. They are thus 'content- free' in the sense that they do not teach specific academic or technical subjects.
Depending on individual need, the programme may extend over periods ranging from 80 hours (e.g., a young person who is gifted but is unorganised) to 300 or more hours (for someone who has a range of learning difficulties of a moderate to severe nature).
A minimum of two hours weekly in two separate hourly sessions is needed with personal but guided reinforcement by parents and/or teachers.
In its unadapted form, the programme requires a basic ability to read and write words and sentences (even in the absence of effective comprehension). It also needs a basic understanding of numbers and of simple arithmetic; and it needs basic visual and motor skills. However, through sensitive mediation, and through applying practical criteria for instrument adaptation defined by Professor Feuerstein, a significant part of the programme can be made accessible to those who have limited visual and motor functioning and who, on entry into the programme, can neither speak, read nor write. Even within this relatively restricted application of the programme, substantial development in thinking, learning and work skills can take place.
There are preconditions for the successful delivery of the programme, which must be taken seriously. IE has failed on more than one occasion and independent research demonstrates clearly that, wherever this has happened, one or more of the conditions given below have been by-passed:
A) To be confident
of securing stable change in learners, the programme must be continuous,
with sessions delivered at least twice weekly.
Finally, the purpose of the programme is not solely to develop the cognitive functions but also to develop:
* An awareness within pupils of how they are thinking as they work- how they are approaching problems and tasks - how to learn from their mistakes and successes, thereby improving their underlying ability to learn and solve problems. Professor Feuerstein calls this capacity 'metacognition'.
* A perception within pupils of themselves as both generators and shapers of information.
* An intrinsic state of curiosity and motivation, facilitating the transfer of learning from one situation or context to the next.
2) Spatial Orientation:
4) Numerical Progression:
Thinking and Learning
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