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Evaluation of the Scottish Borders Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) programme

Scottish Executive (Funder) (2006) Evaluation of the Scottish Borders Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) programme. [Report]

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In the light of decades of worldwide research that implies that the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) programme has potential to enhance learning and attainment (Romney and Samuels, 2001) a pilot programme was launched in Scottish Borders Council schools in September 2005. Since the programme includes activities to help pupils to control impulsive behaviour, most pupils selected for the programme had a history of underachieving due to social, emotional or behavioural problems. The FIE programme is described in Section 1. There are two strands to the pilot project: one is equipping teachers to deliver the FIE programme to the most vulnerable pupils, the other is the adoption of the Feuerstein approach to mediating learning across schools. While the first strand is very resource intensive, the second strand can operate with more modest investment. In 2005-2006, 32 primary and secondary teachers, including members of school Senior Management Teams, volunteered for the Feuerstein accredited training and began to deliver the FIE programme with the selected pupils for around 80 minutes per week. Scottish Borders Newly Qualified Teachers (probationers) also participated for three days in the area of the Feuerstein training that deals specifically with mediated learning. Since there is extensive research evidence that the quality of the teacher’s mediation is a major influence on learning, early career training in mediation was thought likely to yield long-term dividends. This evaluation is one of many of FIE programmes. The Scottish Borders programme is a pilot project that had been operational for around six months (excluding school holiday weeks) when the evaluation began. Typically, published evaluations are of FIE programmes that have been running for at least two years and often these programmes provided more lessons than in the Borders pilot project.