Family and personal events include an encounter with the work of an Israeli psychologist Dr. Reuven Feuerstein. Warning: Amateur at work in this summary.
One formulation of his work is a “Theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability” – Intelligence is not like the 1930′s model (one CPU somewhere in our brain giving rise to a single measurement of IQ). Rather (in Feuerstein’s theory) four functions: planning/sequencing, attending (managing distractions), generalising (or not)/categorisation, and processing.
There’s a whole bunch of theory at www.icelp.org/asp/Feuerstein.shtm
The jargon is beyond me but . . . my question/challenge was my son. (Who was described last year as “the dumbest smarta**e ever” by a classmate, and who has had some interesting experiences with teachers over the past year) It’s been quite remarkable: several sessions with John Gourley with my son last week and the week before, and today with my son and daughter together.
Me and Mark both low on one key function. My daughter was very (very) high: aced the test, bet us both my a mile. I’m old enough to know there is never a magic bullet.
But this has REALLY HELPED.
Several insights: “Schools are set up for those strong in sequential processing” I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how a strong simultaneous processor/global thinker can get fouled up, especially when you don’t know how to express how you got the answer. . . and NCEA rewarding sequential stuff big time.
Here’s the interesting claim: “You can get involved with someone to assist the development of these functions” Feuerstein uses the term mediate (not teach) . . .
In the Feuerstein approach the teacher is replaced by a mediator, whose task is to help the learner learn. The task is not aimed at placing a specified body of knowledge into the learner’s head. . . . mediation is done by a warm human being who works with the learner in such a way that both of them discover how the learner learns and how to improve the learner’s learning process. The mediator’s intention is NOT to help the learner to solve the problem posed by the stimulus. It is rather to understand, with the learner, the process whereby the learner learns. The stimulus, in the form of a test, has been designed to make it possible for the two of them to investigate this process. The learner is involved in a three step learning process. In the first step the learner receives the stimulus which has been especially designed to make it possible for the learner and mediator to gain insights into the learning process. In the second stage the learner processes the information. In the third stage the learner decides upon a response, and is also assisted by the mediator.
Feuerstein describes this three step process as a “Mediated Learning Experience” From: www.icelp.org/files/research/demingfeuerstein.pdf
John has been a great help, I can tell you. He has one of the lightest internet footprints of anyone I know, but he is in the white pages.