Title Mediated learning and pedagogy Applications of

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REACT Vol 22 No 1 June2003 pp 53 63, ONanyang Technological University National Institute of Education. Mediated Learning and Pedagogy,Applications of Feuerstein s Theory in. Twenty First Century Education,Tan Oon Seng,Introduction. Most educators are familiar with the work of Piaget and Vygotsky Education. owes a great debt to Piaget particularly for his extensive insights into the devel. opment of the mind and intelligence Vygotsky provided educators with. an understanding of how the social environment influences psychological. developments, What is less well known but of potential interest to educators as we explore. new ways to facilitate learning is the work of Feuerstein and his theory of. mediated learning experience MLE Reuven Feuerstein an Israeli psychologist. began his work in the late 1940s and was at one time a student of Jean Piaget. Feuerstein s work however was popularized only in the 1990s Although his. work was primarily with disadvantaged adolescents and children the theory has. wider applications and can be shown to underpin contemporary classroom. teaching and interventions across all sectors of education. Feuerstein s work addressed those issues of utmost concern to parents teach. ers and psychologists What goes on in the mind of the learner What goes on in. the mind of the teacher How can the interaction between them result in effective. This article will provide i an outline of Feuerstein s work and his theory ii. explain mediated learning experience MLE theory and iii show how it can be. applied in a classroom context,54 Tan Oon Seng,Background of Feuerstein s Work and Theory.
The theory of MLE was developed over the period 1950 1963 during which. Feuerstein worked with large numbers of orphaned and traumatized youths. coming back to Israel after the Holocaust Feuerstein Rand Hoffrnan and Miller. 1980 These young people came from diverse cultures and disadvantaged condi. tions and had to be received settled and schooled for citizenship in a new. country with a unique and thoroughly modern technological culture Hobbs. 1980 The methods of psychometric testing used then provided little help for such. a mammoth task As Feuerstein noted existing practice looked at children s fail. ure to learn and not at what they could learn Like the summative assessments of. today testing was for determining the end products of development and learning. i e achievement of learning outcomes and for placement i e predicting. performance, Since he was more concerned with the learning potential and untapped capac. ity he turned the need to assess into a learning opportunity for the students so that. every assessment became a learning experience interwoven with a diagnostic. approach and an intervention or remediation In this way he made the assessment. process dynamic and truly developmental, Feuerstein thought beyond the traditions of his time When others were mod. ifying materials for those with learning disabilities Feuerstein chose to invest his. energies in modifying these learners directly When behaviourism was looking at. stimuli and output behaviours Feuerstein chose to focus not only on the organ. ism but the inner structure of cognition Whilst intervention programmes were. often concerned with content Feuerstein was more concerned with the prerequi. sites of thinking and ways to help people learn how to learn Psychoanalysis was. concerned with emotions and antecedent factors but Feuerstein preferred to. search other mediating factors that impact future cognitive development. At the heart of Feuerstein s Theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability. SCM is the belief in the plasticity and modifiability of cognition Feuerstein. 1990 argued that a person s capacity to learn is not solely determined by one s. genetic endowment Cognition can be improved or modified irrespective of a. person s age and stage of development In SCM theory a child or even adoles. cent who has cognitive deficiencies has every chance of positive change and. development through mediation,Applications of Feuerstein s Theorv 55. The concept of modifiability is of prime importance in SCM It refers not. merely to remediation of specific behaviours but to changes of a structural. nature that is internal changes in cognition rather than external behaviour It is. about changes that are durable substantial and meaningful to the individual. The changes impact on the individual holistically on dispositional traits thinking. ability and the general level of competence,Theory of Mediated Learning Experience. How do we bring about such a structural modification of cognition The question. relates to the basis for effective intervention or interaction Embedded in the the. ory of structural cognitive modifiability is the theory of mediated learning experience. MLE Simply put this states that the quality of interaction between the individ. ual and the environment via an intentional human being the teacher plays a piv. otal role in the cognitive development of the individual. According to Feuerstein and Feuerstein 1991 the lack of MLE is often respon. sible for an individual s deficiencies in learning tools positive disposition and. propensity to learn Without mediation a learner has limited opportunity to. benefit from either formal or informal learning, Feuerstein and Feuerstein 1991 identified a list of parameters that character.
ize MLE Three of these parameters are seen as indispensable to any mediated. interaction i intentionality and reciprocity ii mediation of meaning and. iii transcendence, These parameters can be viewed as a repertoire for classroom teachers as. shown in Fig 1,i Intentionality and Reciprocity IR. In the MLE interactionist model the teacher not only has a clear intention of. what to teach but also shares his her intentions to the learner Reciprocity refers. to the teacher s alertness and awareness of how the learner responds to the. intention The presence of this I R parameter implies that an explicit and. purposeful outcome results from the interaction The IR parameter helps to. highlight the fact that the quality of interaction is not accidental or coincidental in. nature Furthermore it is the IR parameter and not just the specific content to. be taught that is going to determine the effectiveness of a teaching learning. 56 Tan Oon Sena,Fig 1 Repertoire of Mediated Learning. Source Tan 0 S Parsons R D Hinson S L Sardo Brown D 2002 Educational Psychology. A Practitioner ResearcherApproach An Asian edition p 61 Singapore Thomson Learning a. ii Mediation of Meaning ME, In MLE the awareness of meaning constitutes a major component of the motiva. tion system Meaning involves the individual s cultural background value. system aspirations and needs According to Feuerstein and Feuerstein 1991 the. effective mediator teacher makes known to the learner the significance of the inter. action for example by asking Why are we learning this and What is it for. iii Mediation of Transcendence T, According to Rand 1991 transcendence T is about going beyond the here and.
now of the learning situation It refers to the transfer of learning across contexts. A lications,of Feuerstein s Theow 57, and situations The effective mediator enables the learner to take a life wide. approach to learning so that the learner actually learns how to learn. Other MLE Parameters, The first three parameters IR ME and T represented in the inner ring of Figure. 1are necessary and sufficient conditions for a mediated learning experience The. other parameters are often present whenever applicable in effective learning situ. ations The parameter on mediation of feeling of competence FC relates to the need. to provide successful experiences for students and to remove the unwarranted. fear of failure FC is important as the fear of making mistakes often results in the. student s lack of investment in time and effort to try again The mediation of reflec. tive practicee RP which relates to self regulatory and metacognitive behaviours is. important for classroom learning situations RP is important for students given. the demands of school life and the challenges confronting their personal and. social development, The mediation of interdependence and sharing IS parameter refers to a sense of. belonging and sharing behaviour For example in the case of a small nation like. Singapore the sense of belonging is an important notion especially in relation to. national education and survival Ministry of Education 1998 There is a need to. encourage students to appreciate their being an integral part of the community. and institution Furthermore teamwork interdependence and knowledge shar. ing are attributes emphasized in today s world The recent educational emphasis. on preparing students to be more creative and entrepreneurial Ministry of. Education 1998 makes the G O and NC parameters increasingly important in. the curriculum,Application and Discussion, We shall consider an observation of pedagogy in a primary school class Tan Seng. and Pou in press to illustrate how MLE principles are manifested in an effective. class By highlighting the parameters we hope to see how MLE can help teachers. develop quality interaction for positive cognitive development. The case scenario is as shown in Box 1 For the ensuing discussion the lesson. has been broken into five stages,58 Tan Oon Seng,Applications of Feuerstein s Theorv 59.
MLE can articulate for us the key characteristics that make the interaction. between Miss Chen and her students a quality interaction Referring to the. Repertoire of Mediated Learning Fig 1 and looking at the case scenario it is not. difficult to identify how MLE parameters apply, Table 1 summarizes in some ways how Miss Chen s class epitomizes MLE. At Stage 1 we see what was going on in the minds of the students in Miss. Chen s class The students looked forward to interacting with the teacher and. their peers, By Stage 2 the intentions of the teacher were clearly expressed through her. communication with the students and her harnessing of the environment Her. intentions were reciprocated with enthusiastic responses and resulted in encour. aging learning outcomes that certainly went beyond the completion of work. sheets She not only articulated her intentions but also planned the entire learning. environment to provide a range of materials and psychological tools to support. learning She ensured that the students responded to her intentions at each stage. of her lesson,60 Tan Oon Sena,MLE in case scenario. Scenario MI E parameters Some key observations about the. Learners and the Teacher,Stage 1 GO Goal seeking The Learners There was. and Achieving expectation curiosity and,IR Intention and excitement.
Reciprocity The Teacher There were clear,learning objectives meticulous. planning and creative design of the,learning environment. Stage 2 IR Intention and The Learners They received a good. Reciprocity idea of what they would be learning,IIJ Individual The Teacher There was clarity of. Esteem intention and she ensured that every,individual was with her. Stage 3 ME Meaning The Learners They could see,IR Intention and meaning and relevance in the.
Reciprocity learning,The Teacher There was clarity of. explanation impaitation of meaning,and engagement of students. attention and interest, Stage 4 Reflective The Learners They were stimulated. practice RP to recall think and connect,Challenge of novelty knowledge They saw something. NC Interdependency new They had to learn with and,and Sharing IS from others.
The Teacher She provided p,challenge and facilitated thinking. She provided opportunities for,engaging learning in different modes. thus catering to different learning,styles She gave opportunities for. pair and group learning, Stage 5 FC Feeling of The Learners They were developing. competence the sense of now I know I can do,Search for it and I have learnt something.
Alternatives OA important,Change The Teacher She got the learners to. awareness CA feel and be competent She,Transcendence presented innovative problems to. T demonstrate that there are,alternatives and different. possibilities to a solution She,empowered learners to transfer their. learning to relevant situations,Applications of Feuerstein s Theory 61.
At Stage 3 we see that the concept of weight was not just an abstract numerical. quantity for the students They had an idea that 250g is about the weight of a real. apple The learning was meaningful not only because the children understood the. concept but also because the teacher provided meaningful contexts All experi. enced teachers know that meaning is one of the most powerful motivators. In Stages 4 and 5 the transcendence factor becomes apparent Learning about. weight extends beyond completing worksheets and taking tests The principles. learned extend to other lessons and to daily life Transfer of learning is particu. larly important when we are addressing the individual s capacity to adapt and. cope with change and new environments For instance students are not only. acquiring specific theoretical knowledge but more importantly developing heuris. tics for solving a wide range of problems and applications as well as confronting. problems in the real world,It is not difficult to imagine t. Title Mediated learning and pedagogy Applications of Feuerstein s theory in twenty first century education Author s Tan Oon Seng Source REACT 2003 1 53 63 Published by National Institute of Education Singapore This document may be used for private study or research purpose only This document or

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