“Just a minute…let me think!”
Feuerstein's Instrumental Enrichment Program (IE) is a cognitive intervention program that can be used both individually and in the classroom framework. The IE program has been successfully used all over the world as a tool for the enhancement of learning potential and cognitive functioning of children and adults. For individuals with special needs, IE is used as a remediation program; for higher functioning learners IE is a tool of cognitive enrichment. To date, the IE program has been successfully used in the following frameworks:
- Enrichment programs for underachieving, regular and gifted children;
- Learning enhancement programs for immigrant and cultural minority students;
- Remedial programs for special needs children;
- Cognitive rehabilitation of brain injured individuals and psychiatric patients;
- Professional training and retraining programs in the industrial, military, and business sectors.
IE as a classroom curriculum is aimed at enhancing the students’ cognitive functions necessary for academic learning and achievement. The fundamental assumption of the program, based on Feuerstein’s theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability and Mediated Learning Experience is that intelligence is dynamic and modifiable, not static or fixed. Thus, the FIE program seeks to correct deficiencies in fundamental thinking skills, provides students with the concepts, skills, strategies, operations and techniques necessary to function as independent learners, increases their motivation, develops students’ metacognition, and in a word, helps students “learn how to learn.”
IE materials are organized into 14 instruments that comprise paper and pencil tasks aimed at such specific cognitive domains as analytic perception, orientation in space and time, comparison, classification, and more. Deliberately free of specific subject matter, the IE tasks are intended to be more readily transferable to all educational and everyday life situations. The IE materials and teacher manuals have received worldwide recognition and have been translated into 17 languages including all major European and some Asian languages. In addition, there is a Braille version of IE tools for blind learners.
IE is the most researched of the various cognitive intervention programs. A complete bibliography of IE research includes hundreds of books, articles, reports, and doctoral dissertations.