Have you ever heard of the Feuerstein method ? It is an educational system that aims to stimulate children’s intelligence and improve their learning skills. Let’s get to know him more closely.Educating children is an important and delicate step at the same time that’s why, over time, different methods have been created that aim to raise intelligent, aware, self-confident, creative and possibly happy children. One of these is the Feuerstein method probably less known than others but equally interesting.
Who was Reuven Feuerstein
His name is certainly less known than that of Maria Montessori or Rudolf Steiner but also Reuven Feuerstein, an Israeli psychologist-pedagogist born in Romania, has dedicated himself for years to studying and deepening the educational and learning methods of children.
Feuerstein intended in particular to find ways to develop the intelligence of children with learning problems, intellectual disabilities or Down syndrome. He also dedicated himself to those children who had returned to Israel after having lived the tragic experience of concentration camps with psychological repercussions that were also evident in learning.
Principles of the Feuerstein method
The fundamental concept on which this method is based is the conception that intelligence is not entirely an innate gift but can also be refined and in some way “taught” to children. According to Feuerstein there are 5 fundamental principles that are always valid also and above all in the case of children with learning problems:
All humans are editable
It refers in particular to the functioning of the brain and thought which can improve throughout life.
This particular child is editable
Each child can hone their intelligence even if there are problems at the base. Just help him develop his resources.
I can edit it
By “I” we mean the parent, even if he is supported by other family members, teachers or professional figures who are useful for the path of children with problems.
I myself am editable
Even the parent must change his own preconceptions and habits if this can be in some way useful for the child to help him develop his intelligence. In short, we improve and grow together.
The environment is editable
The external environment can also be changed for the good and specific needs of the child.
Based on these principles, Feuerstein has developed a method aimed at developing the best potential of each child. This is based on a dynamic assessment of the individual (LPAD) , which must be based on his learning potential and not on what he has already learned so far and an Instrumental Enrichment Program (PAS), useful for improving children’s skills through learning mediated by the presence of an educator.
Feuerstein method, practical examples
The Feuerstein method also consists of practical advice to simply stimulate the intelligence of our children. Here are some that we can immediately experience:
Look him in the eye when there is something important to say
It seems obvious to look each other in the eye when we have to say something important to someone, but often we adults don’t. For children, this habit is even more important because intelligence is also linked to the degree of attention, a faculty that we learn from the first contacts with our mother who observes us with her loving gaze.
To talk to the children and explain something important to them, therefore, it is good to get up to them, look them in the eyes and only after starting the speech with phrases such as: ” listen, I have to tell you something important “, followed by what you actually want to say and immediately after further reiterating the concept with a simple and clear summary sentence.
Keep your rooms tidy
It is good for children (and not only) to live in an orderly environment, which also helps attention. So always keep toys and objects in place, especially in the room where they sleep and play.
3) Express yourself in words
In some cases, children tend to cry or complain to get what they want. Instead, it is important to teach them to explain their needs well in words so that thought and intelligence can grow hand in hand with their language.
4) Do not correct it in front of others
It is good not to correct any mistakes of the child in front of others to avoid that he may feel humiliated. Instead, choose a time when you are alone with him (or get it) to calmly reflect on what he has done wrong or on a wrong word. Don’t forget to highlight the improvements too.
Don’t interrupt it
When the child speaks and tells something about his day, it is good not to interrupt it to avoid losing the thread of the speech or maybe even the desire to let you participate in his discoveries or “adventures”.
Let him do it himself
Children often ask to do something on their own, well let them have the maximum freedom even if they will be slower or maybe they will do some small damage. In this way they have a great chance to learn based on what they have observed before and will thus gain self-confidence.
Let him listen to music
Listening to music is good for all ages but it would be better to choose some types of music that are particularly beneficial for the mind (they calm down, promote concentration, etc.). These are Mozart’s music but also that of Vivaldi, Bach or other Baroque musicians.
Play pretending to be someone else
A classic game that all children at one point particularly love is to pretend to be someone else: the mother, the doctor, etc. In short, they play to give and give themselves a role that is usually not theirs. It is an important game that promotes skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence as well as obviously it can be useful to stimulate creativity.
Make him work at home
Almost at any age, children can carry out simple daily tasks at home, such as setting the table or bringing food, removing clothes from the washing machine, etc. It is a way to empower them a little but also to develop their intelligence through a routine that involves performing tasks and using memory.
Get to the answer with him
Children often ask many questions and it would be good to have them come to the answer by themselves through dialogue and directing them to what they require: that is to satisfy their curiosity. In this way they have the opportunity to learn more by giving birth to new ideas and also by fixing the concepts in a more lasting way.
Give the opportunity to choose
Every day we adults make many choices from what we wear to what we eat, etc. We try to give some options even children in this way will learn to be more autonomous in their decisions and also respect those of others.