Research Seminar - Mediated Learning Experience

David Tzuriel

Location: Room 2.22 Research Beehive
Time/Date: 16th February 2009, 12:30 - 14:00

Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) processes refer to interactions in which parents, teachers, and peers interpose themselves between a set of stimuli and the developing child (learner) and modify them to enhance learning and cognitive plasticity.

The MLE processes are gradually internalized by the learner and become an integrated mechanism of cognitive plasticity within the child. Cognitive plasticity refers to the child’s ability to take advantage of principles, competencies, and patterns, learned in the past, for the purpose of adapting to new circumstances as well as the ability “to learn how to learn.” The more MLE the child receives, the more he/she is able to learn from direct exposure to formal and informal learning situations. The quality of mediation may indicate future changes in the child's cognitive structures, deficient cognitive functions, and the ability to benefit from mediation in other contexts. Recent research has shown the efficacy of MLE processes in facilitating children’s cognitive plasticity in family and school settings. MLE interactions, especially mediation for expanding (transcendence), predicted children’s cognitive plasticity and of school achievements more than conventional IQ scores. Children participating in cognitive education programs guided by MLE principles (e.g., Bright Start, Peer Mediation with Young Children) showed higher levels of cognitive modifiability and metacognitive skills than control children. They could learn the principles of mediation, apply them with their peers, and become better learners on both thinking skills and academic areas. Future research should focus on intervention efforts to improve parents’ and teachers’ mediation style and the effects on children’s cognitive modifiability. Mediation categories should be refined and adapted to parental style and learning situations.

Published: 14th January 2009