The Big Ideas - A Newcomers Glossary

Cognitive Enrichment - Cognitive skills are thinking skills, and cognitive enrichment results in the improvement of thinking skills. 

Cognitive Functions are specific thinking abilities or skills.  They can be taught and learned and strengthened at any age.  There are three phases of cognitive functioning:  Input—Elaboration—Output. (These phases are similar to the three phases of information processing.)  At the input phase, information is taken in; at the elaboration phase information is processed through association with previous knowledge; and at the output phase the results of the processing are conveyed. 

Structural Cognitive Modifiability is characterized by the belief that the structure of the brain can be changed by systematic and meaningful intervention.  This position is supported by current brain research in the field of brain plasticity.  If you accept this position, it follows then that intelligence is not fixed or immutable. 

Mediation is the interactional process between a learner and an intentional adult (the mediator) who by interposing him/herself between the learner and the external source of stimulation guides (mediates) the learning experience by selection, focusing, and feedback. Such a learning experience is referred to as a Mediated Learning Experience (MLE). 

Bridging refers to the process through which cognitive skills are transferred (bridged) to learning content. 

Professor Reuven Feuerstein, the founder and director of the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning, has through clinical research identified a set of cognitive functions that can be considered prerequisites for learning.  That is, learners who do not have access to these prerequisite skills will be handicapped in learning new skills and or new material regardless of the quality of instruction or the effort put forth by the learner.

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Our Theoretical Base

Professor Reuven Feuerstein's programs are based on two very important theoretical principles – Structural Cognitive Modifiability and Mediated Learning Experience. For an elaboration of these theories, go to the ICELP web site at

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