Professor Reuven Feuerstein is a world-renowned cognitive psychologist, known for his groundbreaking research in cognitive modifiability. Rejecting the idea that intelligence is fixed, he established the principle that all children can learn how to learn.
Professor Feuerstein is the founder and director of the Feuerstein Institute (formerly known as the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential) and the Hadassah-WISO-Canada Research Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. He has been a Professor of Psychology at the School of Education at the University of Bar Ilan in Israel; Adjunct Professor at George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; Visiting Professor at Yale University; and a regular speaker at many other U.S. universities.
Professor Feuerstein, a holocaust survivor, began developing his theories in the late 1940’s while working with children who had been separated from their parents by the holocaust. Because of the low IQ scores these children had, many people considered them cognitively hopeless. However, Feuerstein and his colleagues insisted on further testing.
“The IQ tests we did on these children had no way of taking into account the horrific experiences they had lived through, or of telling, we believed, what their true potential was. When we assessed the children differently through a routine to measure their learning capacity, rather than their present performance, we discovered that all of the children had potentials that had been completely submerged in the standard IQ tests.”
Through his subsequent work with underachieving individuals, Professor Feuerstein determined that the proposition “present performance indicates potential” was untrue. This led to the development of the theories of Structural Cognitive Modifiability and Mediated Learning Experience and a definition of intelligence as “the capacity of the individual to use previous experience in his adaptation to new situations.” For more information, go to www.icelp.org.