The shaping of modifying environments is a core aspect of Feuerstein’s approach to enhancing learning potential. Without it, the potential to activate the cognitive modifiability of individuals will remain underdeveloped and incomplete. What is at stake is that the structural cognitive modifiability – discovered and enlarged through the mediated use of LPAD and IE – could dissipate without the right kind of environment. However, how could we create an environment that is optimally conducive to learners’ learning, development, and success? Furthermore, how could we shape such an environment, not only in the classroom or at home, but in ways that would involve various social systems embedded in society? Although Feuerstein indicated more than three decades ago how to use a systemic approach to understand and develop modifying environments, several limitations in the current body of literature make it difficult to derive any concrete generalisations in this regard. The aim of this presentation is to address this gap. Drawing from his experience as a higher education scholar and practitioner for more than 20 years, Dr Wahl will share crucial concepts, principles, and features associated with an ecological approach to shaping modifying environments. This presentation is designed to assist parents, educators, and practitioners to enhance the learning potential of individuals in a systemic-holistic way.
About the speaker:
Dr WP Wahl developed a scholarly interest in cognitive education during his postgraduate studies in Theology and Higher Education Studies. In 2011 he obtained an interdisciplinary PhD, focusing on the application of Feuerstein’s Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) in the field of religious education. Dr Wahl is currently the Director: Student Life at the University of the Free State (UFS) – South Africa – and in this capacity, he leads innovative research projects evaluating the ways in which the theory and applied systems of Feuerstein’s MLE can enhance the developmental ecology of higher education students; especially students hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through these research projects, he has established both national and international partnerships within the field of cognitive education. Dr Wahl is well experienced in collaborating on an international level through joint projects. He is the current Vice President: Africa for the International Association of Cognitive Education and Psychology (IACEP) and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology (JCEP). In 2019 Dr Wahl co-founded the Institute for the Advancement of Cognitive Education (IACE); a non-profit organisation that aims to advance cognitive education in ways relevant to the 21st century. He also supervises postgraduate students in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State. Dr Wahl is married to Siobhone. The couple currently resides in Bloemfontein and has two sons and a daughter.