Observed Benefits of Instrumental Enrichment Implementation

David S. Martin, Ph.D. – October 2006

The Instrumental Enrichment thinking-strategies program has over the years been observed to have several clear benefits—for students, for teachers, and for parents. In many cases, the results are supported by empirical research studies in published form; in other cases, the results are reported by implementers of the program in a wide variety of settings (public schools, private schools, and tutorial programs).

When the program is implemented several times per week over a two-or-more-year period, students have been found to increase in their:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematics Computation
  • Mathematics Concepts
  • Detail and sequencing of problem-solutions
  • Thinking habits such as defining a problem, persisting to a solution developing multiple strategies in problem-solving, and working cooperatively

These effects have been observed for both students with normal achievement and students with special needs.

Teachers who have been fully trained in the program and then implemented the program with students for a year or more have been found to change in the following ways:

  • Asking more frequent questions which provoke higher-order thinking
  • Incorporating more cognitive strategies into various subject matter contexts
  • Including more frequent student-to-student dialogue in their teaching
  • Asking more frequent metacognitive questions of students

Although parent effects have not been studied as systematically as have the effects on teachers and students, parents who have been trained in the program and implemented it with their children over at least a year have reported that they:

  • More often give their children responsibility for developing solutions to problems, rather than giving their children the solutions
  • More often infuse “thinking” language into their conversations with them
  • Develop a better understanding of their children’s thought processes
  • Develop a better understanding of any learning problems in their children

Further details about the above effects can be provided upon request, and further data are available on implementations from www.icelp.info and from www.iriinc.us.