Learning: the SHOHR model and the mediator element


Let’s start with the explanation of how the learning process takes place in Feuerstein’s SHOHR model . The latter added a new element to the SOR scheme, the H, it is a mediator placing it between S (stimulus), O (organism) and R (response). A model that expanded became SHOHR. From this it can be deduced that learning is the association between certain initially neutral environmental stimuli and the responses given by the individual. But this was only an initial definition of learning.

After the Russian physiologist Pavlov has highlighted how the automatic responses are already in the behavior of an organism and activated by neutral stimuli. For example, a behavior that is emitted in response to the presence of food is also manifested in the absence of it in that particular condition. A stimulus is initially incapable of evoking a response if presented several times according to the rules of temporal contiguity with an unconditioned stimulus. Thus it is associated with this giving the same behavioral response. However, it is not explained how a subject acquires new responses or the different reactions of the subjects in front of the same stimulus are incomprehensible .

To find these answers, we switched from an SR schema to a SOR schema. Here the O represents the organism, demonstrating that in front of the same stimulus the subject will respond differently according to the different characteristics. Here we return to the role of the mediator in learning Feuerstein’s SHOHR model. The role of the mediator is to broaden the individual’s capabilities by supporting their learning process.

A way to transform every event and experience into an opportunity for change . Furthermore, the mediator must guide the individual to give an adequate answer in order to stimulate a reflection on the ongoing process to arrive at this conclusion. The SHOHR model underlines the importance of the mediator to facilitate learning according to the subjective characteristics of the individual. In addition, also to highlight the important relationship between the two. The mediator makes the difference: two people can modify and change in relation to their experiences of mediation.

  • Learning according to Feuerstein: the SHOHR model and the mediator (


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