J & M Yeomans Limited Dynamic Assessment services
Dr Jane Yeomans is an accredited Dynamic Assessment practitioner. She is trained in Professor Reuven Feuerstein's Learning Propensity Assessment Device (LPAD), which is one approach to DA that uses specific tests. Jane has many years of experience using DA with children and young people, and in delivering training in this approach. Below is some information about DA and the related teaching programme, Instrumental Enrichment.
What is DA?
DA focuses on the processes of learning, rather than the products. The processes of learning are what we might call thinking skills, learning to learn skills or cognitive functions. They are the processes that a learner uses in order to solve problems and learn. Reasoning and creative thinking are the kind of thinking skills that are important for an individual to be able to learn and make decisions.Professor Reuven Feuerstein (1921-2014) spent his lifetime studying cognitive functions and working with children and young people to help them improve their thinking so that they could become successful and independent learners.
Through this work, Professor Feuerstein drew up a list of cognitive functions and devised the LPAD.
Cognitive functions help us to be effective learners because they can be used in all kinds of contexts. Some examples of cognitive functions are:
Professor Reuven Feuerstein (1921-2014)
In contrast, the products of learning are tied to particular subjects or curriculum areas. They are skills such as:
Effective learners are able to use their process skills in order to benefit from learning in subject areas. So for example, if I am able to compare I can use this skill in many different ways; for example
........and so on. The list is endless!
What about the influence of our feelings and emotions on thinking?
Professor Feuerstein thought that our emotions could have a very big effect on thinking.
As well as developing the list of cognitive functions, he also suggested that there were what he called ‘non intellective factors’ that affect people’s thinking. These are:
Can people improve their thinking?
Yes! The way that we think and the cognitive functions that we have aren’t fixed. Learners can become more effective and independent thinkers. Mediation is one way that can help this to happen. Mediation is a way of assisting a learner to use and improve their cognitive functions.
Mediation is a way of helping someone to learn. A mediator chooses the stimuli that the learner will experience and then interacts with the learner in order to help them to make sense of the stimuli. Through this process, learning takes place. Mediation focuses on the processes of learning (that is, how learning takes place) rather than the content. So a mediator isn’t interested in solving a problem with (or for) the learner but is interested in how the learner solves the problem.
Characteristics of mediation
If we are going to call an interaction mediation, it has to have the following essential characteristics:
There are other characteristics too, such as goal setting, challenge and shared participation.
What do good mediators do?
Based on Kathy Greenberg: 10 reasons why mediation is more than good teaching, Cognet handbook.
There are teaching programmes that can help to teach thinking. Instrumental Enrichment (IE) is a programme devised by Professor Feuerstein. Jane Yeomans is an accredited IE practitioner. IE is delivered to individuals or groups of pupils and is suitable for pupils aged 9 years upwards. The minimum delivery is two one hours sessions twice a week. An IE programme can last for between one and three years, depending on the needs of the individual. IE consists of fourteen instruments. The instruments are designed to teach thinking skills but its unique features is the use of the transcendence characteristic of mediation, where links are made between the thinking skills taught in IE sessions and other aspects of the learner's academic and social life.
IE is most likely to be successful when:
If you are interested in setting up an IE programme then please contact Jane to discuss further. Programmes can be delivered to individuals in school or home or to small groups of up to 6 pupils in a school or other educational settings.
Dynamic Assessment tests
Professor David Tzuriel's younger years tests can be purchased from him direct. Please contact Professor Tzuriel on firstname.lastname@example.org