How in heaven’s name does someone BUILD A BRAIN! Please allow me to explain. In the late 1990’s, I was watching a webinar about teaching for intelligence. This very idea was counter to all I had been taught in college. Of course, intelligence is fixed - determined by the genes and early childhood. It can’t be “taught” or so I thought. But one man on the panel of child experts disagreed with everyone else. I saw his name was Reuven Feuerstein and he changed my life!
Dr. Jeanne Zehr
I went on to pursue training in the Feuerstein method every summer until 6 years later, 2004, I was a trainer for the Feuerstein Institute in Israel. By 2008 I was traveling internationally to train in the method and have visited 12 countries in the process.
I have seen hundreds of children and adults who have experienced a life transformation. I am a Christian, though rest easy, I will not preach at you! However, there is a stunning quote from a guy named Paul who said, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” You can read this in Romans 12:2 if you care to look it up.
Reuven described our psychological networks in a theory that was ahead of its time called “Structural Cognitive Modifiability.” Our learning and thinking structures are cohesive (they network), are transformative (they can change), and they can self-perpetuate (they carry on without prompting). This should ring a bell for you as this also describes neuroplasticity, the science of how the brain can change, for the better (or sadly - for the worse). How does this happen? By neurons adding dendrites to make new networks and the really good news is that can happen at any age. So we can literally build our brain - dendrite by dendrite - block by block - thought by thought! My analogy to using building blocks, omnipresent in most homes with children, is simple and straight forward. Feuerstein provided an analysis of thinking and learning with 28 cognitive functions. Consider the heavy lifting required of learning to read, how to do algebra, or a new software at work, especially if it is brand new to your brain. You will have to use some extensive mental operations, many of which were identified by Jean Piaget, like analysis and synthesis, deduction and induction, etc. Reuven recognized that these operations also required cog wheels of thinking to operate well and gave the world the cognitive functions, a beautiful organization of 28 little cog wheels of thinking. They are beautifully simple, yet profound.
“On this podcast, we are going to explore these 28 thinking skills that are the building blocks of thinking, learning, and living! Acquire these and you can move up in your job, move faster in school, move more confidently through life.”
So this podcast is for those of you who are members of the human race - a parent, a teacher, a leader, a mentor, a youth pastor, a teenager.
A few years ago I had the honor of meeting some wonderful people who have helped me in the journey of logo design, website development, and podcasting! So to Sarah, Nate, and Kibwe - thank you! This podcast only exists because I met all of you!
I hope you will subscribe and join me every week to build your brain, or of someone you love - one dendrite at a time, one block at a time, one thought at a time!