Omatas Talent Show June 2015

Creating enquiring minds,

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Mediating more than Teaching

Mediation is designed to increase the student’s learning ability. It is a method where the student is asked to participate actively in learning.


The role of the teacher is to bring the information to the student, in a meaningful way, with the intention of him or her interacting with the information so that they may be able to apply that learning beyond the lesson.


The Mediated Learning Experience was formulated by Prof Reuven Feuerstein and used with mainstream children as well as children with cognitive disabilities. Feuerstein has twelve areas of mediation that work on the three areas of cognition: input, elaboration and output.


Traditional teaching involves passing on information, which places the child in a passive learning state. Mediation is about helping the child to realise their potential, to be engaged and independent thinkers. Our brains are naturally curious, which is driven by complexity and challenge, which then in turn drives intrinsic motivation. This is the type of motivation we want our children to have, the type that doesn’t need nagging or cajoling or bribing.


Sir Ken Robinson speaks about the purpose of education, and in his four points he talks first of: economics. That we need to educate our children to be adaptable and creative in order for them to live and work in the world as it is being created right now. In order to be adaptable and creative we need to first know how to think.


Maria Montessori uses mediation in her Five Great Lessons. She suggested you present the information to the children in a way that neither gives them too much nor too little, and you wait for them to engage. Children step towards the learning and when they do they connect and focus.


When your children are curious and engaged then they are learning far more than what is directly in front of them, they are making connections to their own lives, to previous learning, to abstract thoughts, to their experiences, emotions and opinions. Our brains work through connections, that is the nature of neurons, so when we teach we need to help and allow children to make those connections. Group discussions are great tools for learning, especially those lively discussions that ‘derail’ the lesson. What better learning than a group of 10 year olds actively sharing and debating and working out what a subject is all about.


By bringing meaning to the classroom we are empowering children to be flexible thinkers. When children are responsive through flexibility then they can find meaning in what they are doing and with meaning, comes transference across space and time.


“Rich environments challenge children to search for novelty and complexity” (Feuerstein, Rand, Feuerstein 2006)


“The art of mediation is to observe and listen to children in order to determine where they are in the learning cycle and then to intervene effectively.” Feuerstein/Lewin-Benham, What Learning Looks Like