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About Us

Nice to meet you, I'm Dan Gendelman.
I would like to share with you the major professional choice I made in my life!

For about 38 years, my main occupation has been in the field of games and learning through them. This field has been in my blood since the age of 15 when I began teaching chess, and at the age of 24, I founded the company Eshcolot Hashiva, which focuses on instilling thinking and behavior habits through game-based processes to hundreds of thousands of children. Over the years, this activity has reached many places around the world and has received extensive international recognition under the brand MIND LAB.

As an important part of the process, we engaged in significant research development, including a series of master’s degree studies and a number of field studies with Professor Don Green from Yale University in the USA, examining the learners’ understanding and the effectiveness of game-based processes in learning.

On this website and in additional applications that will accompany it, we will be happy to share with you our many years of experience in the field of games, advise and tailor the best games, share materials, and provide ongoing updates on games, development, and learning.

With love,
Dan and the Eshcolot Hashiva team

Our method

The Eshcolot Method rests on solid theoretical foundations and draws from the ideas and studies of several prominent modern scholars and researchers, including:

John Dewey: The philosopher who, at the start of the 20th century, recognized the urgent need to transform education into a more democratic practice. In his Constructivist Theory, Dewey claimed that the child must be placed at the center of the learning process and be allowed to learn from experience, not just from theoretical and academic resources. He viewed games as an excellent educational tool for achieving this goal.

Professor Reuven Feuerstein: He pioneered the successful educational method Instrumental Enrichment and the crucial concept of Mediated Learning. Feuerstein stresses the central role of teaching thinking processes (as opposed to the teaching of content) with the aid of a mediating, enabling environment, a concept that has been espoused and applied by the Mind Lab Group.

Professor David Perkins: His work stressed the need for teaching thinking processes and particularly emphasized processes connected to understanding and transfer—two concepts central to the Mind Lab philosophy and methodology.

Professor Robert Sternberg: His studies have examined the idea of Successful Intelligences—those actual expressions and applications of intelligence in real-life situations, as opposed to standardized intelligence tests.

Professor Howard Gardner who developed the Multiple Intelligences theory.

This theory depicts the great variance existing between different individuals’ personal talents and learning styles – and consequently, the flexible teaching approaches that should be applied in order to effectively reach each and every pupil.

The goals of the method

Developing awareness

Awareness of thought processes is essential for personal growth in all areas of life. The cluster method emphasizes the need for reflective and conscious thinking, which examines the thinking processes and allows students to progress at their own pace.

Acquiring thinking skills

In the information age fundamental thinking skills are of crucial importance. The clustering method provides a diverse range of skills: problem solving strategies, decision making models, information research and management processes, mathematical logical thinking, verbal skills and more.

Strengthening life skills

The gaming experience is a powerful simulation tool for strengthening emotional and social intelligence. It requires dealing with situations of cooperation and competition, winning and losing, failure and success, and strengthens the ability to manage emotions, delay gratification and show willpower, perseverance and self-discipline. This creates fertile ground for discussion and a deep understanding of emotional and social processes.

Interdisciplinary link and transfer

The ability to make interdisciplinary transfer is considered by many researchers to be one of the most important learning skills. The unique study method of thinking clusters creates an organizing basis for the areas of life. Through the method, the students develop their ability to find connections between different and diverse areas of human thinking and activity, and thus make an interdisciplinary transfer.

Methodology and measures

The learning process using the cluster method is simple and powerful.
At the beginning of the process of the children’s play experience,
It ends with the acquisition
of useful skills and insights for real life, among which is the clustering method.

First step

The students learn one of the dozens of thinking games used in the program, and play it in teams. With the help of the instructor, they acquire a "toolbox" of game strategies and thinking concepts that help them improve their game skills.

Mind Games

dilemma
reflection
Solving a problem
Resource management
Decision Making
Common ground
Planning and execution

Second step

The instructor and the students summarize their experience into a model of thinking. The model may refer to cognitive processes that operate during the game (for example, dealing with a problem or making a decision), or to emotional and social processes (for example, recognizing an error or working cooperatively in a group).

cluster method

dilemma
Learning from failures using the mirror method
Cooperation in the method of birds
The detective method of solving problems
The traffic light method for making decisions
Choosing between options using the thinking tree method
The chain method for managing the system

Third step

The instructor and the students use the model they formulated as a basis for discussing situations taken from real life. This is how the students manage to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their lives - in studies, at work, in their inner world and in their family and social lives.

The real life

Mediation and conflict resolution
Language skills
Account problems
Relationships
projects
Prevention of violence
Application in life