On methods

Detailed information about the methods, authors, inspiration

Method of Instrumental Awareness (MIA)

Over the years of using the Feuerstein's instrumental enrichment (FIE) method, the approach to materials and instruments has gradually changed. Since 2010, Eva Vanova has led dozens of FIE courses and during this intensive practice, she gradually changed the original approach – she added the parameters of non-evaluation and awareness of the patterns under which we function every day.

In the atmosphere of non-evaluation, we dissolve fear and become more clearly aware of how we approach tasks and how we could approach them differently. At the same time, we can keep our patterns and approach, which has worked for us. This means that in specific exercises on the pages of the instruments, we see our approaches, strategies, procedures, solutions, we have space to model them, change them or stay with them and transfer them to various areas of our lives (bridging). Although it seems that not being evaluated might reduce our attention or engagement (no one will evaluate what we create), the opposite is true. Worries, restlessness and stress dissolve, internal motivation grows and thus our performance. This increases self-awareness, awareness of oneself. And students can then implement this pattern in situations outside of instrumental awareness lessons. And finally, even in situations when they are evaluated.

In addition to the development of cognitive functions, we pay attention to the mutual influence of cognition and emotions. The fact, that our approach is very effective, we know from personal experience and thanks to feedback from trained experts who have included such approach into their work. We gratefully receive reports from pedagogues, psychologists, therapists, educators and parents on the positive changes they have noticed in children with various learning difficulties. In addition to schools and counseling, during our years of practice we have discovered the potential of the method for various target groups, regardless of the client's age. And thanks to many projects we have entered places that we only dreamed of: prisons and correctional facilities, educational institutions, children's homes, psychotherapy facilities, senior homes or employment offices.

Our approach is based on Feuerstein's instrumental enrichment, which we have transformed into the Method of Instrumental Awareness (MIA). As it turned out to be impossible to remove errors, ambiguities or unintentional inaccuracies from the instruments in cooperation with the Feuerstein Institute, which had burdened the work with clients for a long time, we decided to choose the path of creating new materials. From 2022, all instruments have been undergoing revisions: out of respect for Reuven Feuerstein, Eva Vanova and Ondrej Venek Vysopal have been gradually editing all materials; based on years of experience and inspiration, the works of psychologists, pedagogues, doctors and other experts they have been changing, supplementing or deleting some pages and tasks, revising instructions, creating completely new pages and introducing a new graphic form in cooperation with young graphic artists and illustrators.

All those who have gone through the courses of Eva Vanova and her colleagues in the past (since 2010) can use the new materials with understanding (as we provide so-called methodical sheet for each new material, which describes the changes compared to the original instruments). The non-evaluative approach to cognitive exercises remains an essential feature, which was taught on the courses from the very beginning.

The materials have changed, but our approach, which you know from the courses, remains. We have just stopped hiding it under the already inadequate name of Feuerstein's method of instrumental enrichment and shield it with a new name - Method of instrumental awareness (with the new abbreviation MIA).

Eva Vanova
Ondrej Venek Vysopal
Prague, February 1, 2023