FIE Basic Version:
Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Reuven Feuerstein, a cognitive psychologist in Israel, developed a cognitive education program for young children and functionally delayed adults, known as “Instrumental Enrichment Basic” (FIE). Additionally, a program known as “Instrumental Enrichment Standard” is designed for students aged 9 and above.

The Basic program has nine separate segments—called “instruments”—which are targeted to early learning needs in mathematics, literacy, and social interaction. Teachers are trained to mediate the students’ use of the instruments and strengthen their processes toward readiness for mathematics and literacy. Essentially, FIE teaches critical thinking skills and the problem solving process.

Each instrument involves the application of principles, critical thinking strategies, problem solving techniques and application of discovered rules, in a variety of tasks. The program enables students to better identify problems, form hypotheses, test hypotheses, make comparisons, and solve problems.

Each instrument focuses on one particular cognitive function that is imperative to developing the critical thinking skills required for successful school learning. Over time, the tasks become increasingly complex and abstract. Implementation is recommended for one half-hour daily over a period of two years. Teacher training for the program requires one day of training per instrument.