THE THEORY SCM
The Theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM) maintains that all humans can be modified, irrespective of the cause for any dysfunction or delay in their development.
Whether it be exogenous factors (cultural differences, cultural deprivation or economic conditions) or endogenous factors (characteristics, chromosomal/genetic disorders, physiological conditions, age or condition of the brain), the theory postulates the modifiability of all human beings.
The basis for this theory is a belief system, and the main motive for the work of Prof. Reuven Feuerstein is the dire need to fight for each child, because, in his words, “too many children have been lost”.
SCM explains deficient learning as the result of a lack of sufficient MLE (Mediated Learning Experience) before or during school years. Prof. Feuerstein observed that such deficiencies could be corrected, by providing mediated learning experiences by well-trained teachers combined with a battery of instruments, designed to enhance cognitive functions.
In these learning tests, the child is exposed to a learning situation, and is taught how to go about dealing with the tasks.
When the results of these tests are analysed, it is possible to point out the child’s capacity to benefit from the learning process, and thus to be modified.
Once a child has learned the task taught during the test itself, then it is possible to measure to what extent that child will be able to learn other tasks, as well as to learn to relate to reality.
This theory became the basis for a whole dynamic approach to the assessment of human modifiability, now studied and applied in many academic institutions worldwide.
The theory of SCM views the human organism as open to change. Its’ aim is to modify the individual, through autonomous and self-regulated change.
Intelligence is defined as a changeable state, rather than a permanent trait. Cognition plays a crucial role in human modifiability. Cognitive intervention can bring forth the modification of behavioural or emotional conditions.
This theory states that learning ability can be significantly enhanced, regardless of age, nature, cause or severity of condition. It is based on the belief that all human beings can change and that their ability to function can be meaningfully developed through proper education.
Clinical observations have shown that the development of the thinking process is highly dependent on the nature and quality of the interaction within which stimuli are mediated by parents, educators or therapists.