Mediated Learning Experience
The modifiability of cognition and emotional elements are the cornerstone of Feuerstein’s theory of structural cognitive modifiability (SCM), which states that “all human characteristics, including personality, cognition and behavior are modifiable states, regardless of etiology, age, or severity of the condition” (Feuerstein, Klein & Tennenbaum, 1999, p. 13). In this theory, Feuerstein’s proposition is argued on the basis that a person’s capacity to learn is not solely determined by his or her genetic endowment and further suggested that modifiability is possible irrespective of a person’s age and stage of development (Feuerstein, 1990).
Embedded in the theory of SCM is the theory of mediated learning experience (Feuerstein et al., 1991) which proposed that the quality of interaction between the individual and the environment via a human mediator plays a pivotal role in the cognitive development of the individual. The mediator may be a parent, facilitator, teacher or some significant other who plays the intentional role of explaining, emphasizing, interpreting, or extending the environment so that the learner builds up a meaningful internal model of the context or the world experienced.
Feuerstein and Feuerstein (1999) identified a list of 12 parameters, of which the first three constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for mediated interaction. These parameters are: mediation of (i) Intentionality and reciprocity, (ii) Meaning, (iii) Transcendence, (iv) Feeling of competence, (v) Regulation and control of behavior, (vi) Sharing behavior, (vii) Individuation and psychological differentiation, (viii) Goal-seeking, goal-setting, and goal-achieving behavior, (ix) Challenge: the search for novelty and complexity, (x) An awareness of the human being as a changing entity, (xi) Search for an optimistic alternative, and (xii) Feeling of belonging.