Professor Reuven Feuerstein

Professor Reuven Feuerstein (1921-2014)

Professor Reuven Feuerstein was the founder of the Feuerstein
Institute and served as its Chairman until his passing
in 2014. A clinical, developmental and cognitive psychologist, Professor
Feuerstein is responsible for the vision, essence, ideas, and practices that make up the Feuerstein

The Path to Realizing Human Potential

Reuven Feuerstein was born in Romania in 1921. He began his
academic career studying education at the Teachers College of Bucharest
(1940-1942), before shifting his focus to psychology at UNESCO College
Bucharest in 1942. Simultaneously, Feuerstein worked as a teacher and then
principal at a school for children with disabilities. Feuerstein’s studies were
interrupted in 1944, when the Nazis invaded Romania and Feuerstein emigrated to
Mandate Palestine (modern day Israel). After a year at the Teachers Seminar of
Jerusalem, Feuerstein began working as a special education teacher and youth
counselor in Youth Villages. While serving in this position, Feuerstein came to
understand and study the varied and complex psychological and educational needs
of immigrants, refugees, and other disadvantaged groups.

Feuerstein resumed his academic studies in 1950, pursuing a degree
in general and clinical psychology at the University of Geneva (1950-1954) in
Switzerland. During this time, he also served as the Director of Psychological
Services for the Youth Aliyah agency in Europe. Feuerstein then returned to
Israel, where he was appointed the Director of the Children’s Clinic for
Instruction and Development at Aliyat HaNoar (1955-1983). During this period,
Feuerstein also earned his Ph.D. in
developmental psychology from the Sorbonne University in Paris (1970) and
established the Hadassah WIZO Research Institution in Jerusalem, which engaged
in research and development of intervention plans for the advancement of
disadvantaged groups.

Additionally, Feuerstein taught at various universities around the
world, including Bar Ilan University in Israel and Yale University in the
United States. Feuerstein was a member of various academic committees relating
to cognitive development, education, autism and more.

In 1992, Feuerstein established the ‘International Center for the
Advancement of Learning Skills’ – which today is known as the Feuerstein

A Man and Psychologist Ahead of His Time

Professor Feuerstein began to develop his theories of structural
cognitive modifiability and mediated learning while studying at the University
of Geneva. Through his professional work with immigrants, refugees, and persons with disabilities, he found support
for his presupposition that intelligence and achievement are not accurately
measured by static assessment examinations, such as IQ tests.  Having realized that not everyone learns in
the same manner, Feuerstein began to develop his own set of tools in order to
assess potential and teach new ways of learning.

From the 1970s until his passing in 2014, Feuerstein created and
developed numerous application for his methodology, aimed at integrating and
improving the lives of disadvantaged groups. Feuerstein has given hope to
hundreds of thousands of people, having provided them with the opportunity to
create a significant and life-altering
change by improving their functional abilities through their learning aptitude.

For his work, Professor Reuven Feuerstein received many awards,
prizes and worldwide recognition for his groundbreaking work in actualizing
human potential; he was a recipient of the Israel Prize in Education in 1992,
nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, and posthumously received the
President’s Medal in 2014. 


“He was a psychologist ahead of his time, relentlessly walking the
path of his professional convictions, against the grain of his generation’s
scientific conventions.” – Eyal, Ziona and Uzi Peled

“Feuerstein’s perception was, and is still, revolutionary. He saw
a different picture of humanity, as asked decision makers at all levels to ask
themselves – what is the potential of the person standing before me? How can we
actualize it?” – Professor Amnon Rubinstein

“His life’s work – which consisted not only of groundbreaking
theories dozens of years ahead of their time but also resulted in (most
importantly) “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world) – still creates a deep change
in the lives of hundreds of people, in Israel and around the world.” – Prof.
Yoram Yuval, Head of the Brain Institute’s Emotion Research Center, Haifa

“Prof. Feuerstein was one of the greatest speakers of our time in
the field of psychology and education. He was the very image of educational
creativity and daring, of a deep motivation for education and boundless love of humanity.” – Prof. Menachem
Sasson, President of the Hebrew University

“The theory of mediated learning developed by Professor Feuerstein
comprised a significant advancement compared to other approaches and theories
concerning learning and development, which existed in the 20th
century.” – Professor Pnina Klein, Bar Ilan University, winner of the Israel
Prize 2011

the “Professor Feuerstein presented a new and revolutionary approach, allowing a different evaluation of the child, teaching them with the help of special methods, and then to test them, enabling an assessment of the child’s ability to change with the help of learning. This approach realistically represents the individual potential for learning and development. The use of this approach saved thousands of children from being labeled as mentally disabled and allowed them access to a life of action and integration into normative society.” – Prof. Pnina Klein, Bar Ilan University, winner of the Israel Prize 2011

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