Touro College and Jerusalem’s Feuerstein Center Present “New Psychology for New Century” at Symposium at Mcgraw-Hill

Date: May 07, 2009
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Touro’s Graduate Schools of Psychology and Education to Offer Programs Aimed at Enhancing Treatment of Cognitive Deficits this Summer.

New York, N.Y. - Touro College and The Feuerstein Center of Jerusalem continued to roll out their new partnership at a symposium attended by more than 300 educators, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and graduate students at McGraw-Hill in midtown Manhattan. The program, “Learning Potential and Human Modifiability: Impact for Education and Therapy,” was presented by Dr. Bernard Lander, president and founder of Touro College, and Dr. Reuven Feuerstein, who established The Feuerstein Center of Jerusalem.

“When I was student of psychology, students were taught that your genes and background determined and molded the kind of adult you would become,” said Dr. Lander. “However, Dr. Feuerstein pioneered a new movement that introduced the concept of the malleability of the human psyche. It is in our hands, with the proper tutelage, to achieve the heights of perfection. Tonight we are here to present a new psychology for a new century.”

Beginning in the summer of 2009, Touro College’s Graduate Schools of Psychology and Education will offer seminars and graduate courses that will train educators to integrate Dr. Feuerstein’s theories and methods into traditional scholastic programs. The collaboration between these organizations marks the first time that the Feuerstein Center has established a formal partnership with an academic institution to offer its evaluation and intervention programs at master’s degree and post-master’s certificate levels of training.

“The idea that individuals have a fixed amount of intelligence which can be measured and not modified is not true, and I have seen this dating back to when I worked with children who survived the Holocaust,” said Dr. Feuerstein, who participated live from Jerusalem via satellite television. “I developed my method to assess how individuals can learn adequately. We need to focus on what an individual can accomplish, learn, and acquire, not just what they already know. Modifiability is the most important part of my work.”

Presentations by Dr. John Ramos, Sr., superintendent of schools in Bridgeport, Conn., and Dr. Meir Ben Hur of the International Renewal Institute, Inc. in Chicago, Ill., provided testimonials showing how Dr. Feuerstein’s “Instrumental Enrichment” methods are quickly having a positive impact on young students in Connecticut and Alaska, respectively. After a few short months, students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade have shown a high interest in the program, and are already exhibiting stronger organizational abilities.

In addition to offering workshops and master’s level courses taught by highly-trained Feuerstein Center faculty from Jerusalem, Touro and the Center plan to develop a research and clinical relationship. A major goal of the partnership is to develop a clinical service entity in the New York City area based on Dr. Feuerstein’s theories and treatment practices.

Dr. Feuerstein was a student of Dr. Jean Piaget at the University of Geneva. He believes that with rigorous intervention, compromised intellectual functioning can be substantially enhanced through a comprehensive system of evaluation and treatment involving intensive mediation.

The Center, both in Jerusalem and in association with its international clinical affiliates located in over 30 countries, has had significant success treating young students with “achievement gaps” in school. With proper intervention, the Center has helped struggling students reach their grade level. The Center also works with individuals with cognitive deficits ranging from Down syndrome, autism and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), to dementias and acquired brain disorders such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Feuerstein developed the theories of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM) and Mediated Learning Experience (MLE), and has designed a robust and comprehensive system of evaluation and treatment that taps into learning potential and strives to maximize cognitive and functional capacity. Applications of this integrated system of assessment and intervention have provided educators, therapists, and clinicians with tools that can directly impact the quality of life of their clients.

The following individuals also participated in the symposium: Dr. Charlotte Frank, Sr. Vice President, Research and Development for McGraw-Hill Education; Dr. Robert Sternberg, Dean, Tufts University School of Arts & Sciences; Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, The Feuerstein Center of Jerusalem; Dr. Yvette Jackson, CEO of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education; and Ms. Marianita Damari, a teacher in Brooklyn and veteran Feuerstein trainer.