Incorporating Mediated Learning Experience in Geography Lessons, pp. 3 of 9

Theory of Mediated Learning Experience

The theory of Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) is founded upon the concept of “cognitive modifiability”. This theory of cognitive modifiability has been supported by a growing body of empirical evidence attesting to the plasticity of the brain (Tan & Seng, 2005), illustrating that human intelligence is a modifiable entity. One such theory that supports the modifiability of cognition is Feuerstein’s theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM) which states that “all human characteristics, including personality, cognition and behaviour are modifiable states, regardless of etiology, age, or severity of the condition” (Feuerstein, Klein, & Tannenbaum, 1991, p. 13). This theory brings hope to students and teachers alike as it signifies that even students with cognitive deficiencies have the potential to positively modify and develop their levels of cognition.

Embedded in this theory of SCM is the theory of MLE (Pou, Seng, & Tan, 2003). While the theory of SCM addresses how change at the cognitive level occurs, the theory of MLE is a theory of intervention which addresses how this change occurs in reality. MLE proposes that the key to enhancing the cognitive development of an individual lies in the mediation process whereby the mediator plays a vital role in ensuring that meaningful learning takes place between the individual and the environment (Pou, Seng, & Tan, 2003).

Cognitive Functions

As mentioned earlier, modifiability of cognitive functions is the core of Feuerstein’s theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM) and thus, Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) seeks to enhance these various cognitive functions via mediation. Hence, before the mediation can take place, the mediator has to be first cognizant of the cognitive functions that he/she desires to improve in the learner. It is only with the identification of relevant cognitive functions that the appropriate course of mediation could be planned in such a way that the interaction is intentionally directed towards achieving the desired cognitive functioning in learners (Seng & Tan, 2008).

Figure 2 is a cognitive functions disc illustrating a list of possible cognitive functions that the mediator could seek to develop in the learner. Once the desired cognitive functions have been identified by the mediator, MLE could be carried out with the purpose of enhancing these cognitive functions in learners.

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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