IE in Scotland
IE in Scotland

Gifted Underachievers – Northern Ireland

Many schools need help to help underachieving students improve their academic performance. The Feuerstein Method, which teaches students new ways of thinking and relating to materials, can help enhance underachieving students’ performance by igniting interest and self-motivation for learning.

In Northern Ireland, a study was conducted at the Middle School of Queen’s University with 148 underperforming students aged 11-12. The experimental group of students received two 40-minute lessons in Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment per week for three years (grades 8-10), while the control group received three 40-minute English lessons. There was no intervention during grades 11 or 12.

At the end of year 12, researchers analyzed the General Certificate of School Education (GCSE) exam results for the experimental and control groups. The students who had participated in the experimental group had been selected to take more courses and achieved higher grades (A+ to C) than their peers in the control group.

Researcher: Kate O’Hanlon


  • O’Hanlon, K. (2011). Closing the achievement gap in Ulster. Creative Teaching and Learning, 2.2, 26-34.


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