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 School Improvement:  Learning Dysfunctions
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Professor Reuven Feuerstein has identified numerous ways in which people's processing of information can be inadequate, see below.  


To a greater or lesser extent we all exhibit these dysfunctions from time to time. 


INPUT - Acquiring Information

  1. Blurred and sweeping perception
  2. Unplanned, impulsive, and unsystematic exploratory behaviour.
  3. Lack of, or impaired receptive verbal tools that affect discrimination, (eg., objects, events, and relationships are not appropriately labelled).
  4. Lack of, or impaired spatial orientation and lack of stable system of reference by which to establish topological and Euclidean organisation of space.
  5. Lack of (or impaired) temporal (time) concepts.
  6. Lack of (or impaired) conservation or constancy.
  7. Lack of (or a deficient) need for precision and accuracy in data gathering.
  8. Lack of capacity for considering two or more sources of information at once. This is reflected in dealing with data in a piecemeal fashion rather than as a unit of facts that are organised.


  1. Inadequacy in the perception of the existence of a problem and its definition.
  2. Inability to select relevant as opposed to irrelevant cues in defining a problem.
  3. Lack of spontaneous comparative behaviour or the limitation of its application by an inhibited need system.
  4. Narrowness of the mental field.
  5. EPISODIC GRASP OF REALITY leading to little or no transference of learning
  6. Lack of need for the establishment of relationships.
  7. Lack of need for and/or exercise of summative behaviour.
  8. Lack of, or impaired need for pursuing logical evidence.
  9. Lack of, or impaired ability to use inferential or hypothetical (if) thinking.
  10. Lack of, or impaired ability to use planning behaviour.
  11. Non-elaboration of certain categories because the verbal concepts are not part of the individual verbal inventory on a receptive level, or because they are not mobilised at the expressive level.

OUTPUT - Communicating and Acting on thoughts

  1. Ego-centric communication ('reality is what I think and experience')
  2. Blocking
  3. Trial and error responses
  4. Lack of, or impaired verbal or other tools for adequately communicating elaborated responses.
  5. Lack of, or impaired need for precision and accuracy in the communication of one's responses.
  6. Deficiency of visual transport.
  7. Impulsive, random, unplanned behaviour.

Building on the work of Feuerstein, Katherine Greenberg has developed a framework for teachers (and leaders) to help learners with thinking & learning