2013. Vol.4, No.6, 388-395
Published Online June 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ce) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2013.46055
Copyright © 2013 SciR e s . 388
The Riddle as a Learning and Educational Tool
1Mathematics department, Beit Berl Academic College, Kfar Saba, Israel
2Mathematics department, Gordon Academic College, Haifa, I s rael
Received December 26th, 2012; revised April 28th, 2013; accepted May 9th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Hait Shaham. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribu-
tion License, which permits unrestricted use, dist ribution, and r eproduction in any medium, provided the o riginal
work is properly cited.
The primary objective of the present research study is to examine the implications of the implementation
of an innovative program for the creation of learning stimulation in a challenging environment, through
riddles, on the perception of the learning experience in its different aspects. Previous research studies
maintain that in a different learning environment, the students’ achievements will be different. One of the
goals of the present research study is to examine whether an identical challenging environment creates
different or similar results among a population of children with difference in their intelligence level, or in
a focused manner, between the achievements of gifted and talented students and students in the traditional
Keywords: Development of Social Skills; Thinking Styles in the School; Educational Sociology; Gifted;
Thinking-Focused Teaching; Riddles; Learning Climate; Motivation to Learn
The present research study, which addresses the topic of cha-
nges and innovations in education, sees the importance of the
development of a challenging learning environment as devel-
oping coping processes (for instance, with a riddle) and enig-
matic reality—as a natural and effective way of the assimilation
of the development of values and information. Coping with
thinking challenges, as with the example of riddles, has steadily
been increasing representation in science, society, and the me-
dia and it also serves as a basis of the reciprocal activity among
people in the different media channels in Israel and around the
world (Arbel, 1990).
Many resources have been invested in the past decade in the
educational system in Israel in the development of the students’
abilities, as well as the integration of technology and computers
in the teaching and learning process of many content realms. In
spite of these efforts, it appears that the potential is far from
being completely exploited.
According to modern educational approaches, teaching must
focus on the creation of opportunities for the development of learn-
ing abilities through active learning, the development of critical
thinking using tasks, and the adjustment of learning styles to
thinking styles. The present research study focused on the achi-
evements of students who learned in a challenging learning envi-
ronment (Hamizer riddles) in two frameworks (traditional class
and gifted class, Gordon Center) and thinking styles as a learn-
ing strategy. The goal is to develop the learning framework as a
predictor of achievemen ts in the challengin g learning environment.
The Theoretical Background
The Gifted and Talented Child
Both society’s reference to the gifted child and the theoreti-
cal outlooks regarding his development have experienced far-
reaching changes in recent years. The researches of Holling-
worth (1942), Oden (1968), and Terman (1925) showed that the
gifted have characteristics such as maturity, self-image, cogni-
tive independence, and general adjustment, in comparison to
The concept of “giftedness” has many definitions. Defini-
tions accepted today are qualitative in nature and also include a
quantitative element—I.Q. They were first designed at the end
of the 1970s and in the beginning of the 1980s by Tannenbaum
(1983) and Sternberg (1985). Today, the definitions include a
quantitative—statistical—element, the level of innate abilities
(measured in intelligence tests), personality abilities, and envi-
Renzulle (1981) and Zorman (1993) describe the gifted child
as a curious child who takes the initiative and is possessed of
original thinking in problem solving. He has exceptional ideas,
expresses himself fluently without obstruction, has a developed
and refined sense of humor, is emotionally sensitive, and is
aware of his impulsive responses. He is sensitive to beauty and
has a developed sense of criticism. He is individualistic, is not
willing to accept authority, and is not afraid of being different.
Thinking is a process (influenced by heredity and the envi-
ronment) that occurs in the mind. It includes the absorption and
processing of stimuli. Thinking allows us to supervise our
words and deeds and it has different roles in the different stages
of teaching and learning. Accordingly, there are different forms
of thinking, such as scientific, analytic, creative, etc.
Students differ from one another in their style of thinking. In
other words, they differ in the way in which they acquire
knowledge, crystallize ideas, feel, and behave. There are sev-
eral theories that describe a person’s different thinking styles.
Knowing the person’s thinking style (or the profile of thinking
styles) may explain why a certain activity suits him and why
another one is not appropriate (Zohar, 1996).
The thinking style is the form of thinking that the person
prefers in a given situation. The thinking style is the way in
which the person chooses to express his thinking (Sternberg &
Wagner, 1991). Hence, the thinking styles are not found in the
realm of abilities or realm of personality but in the areas of
tangency between them (Sternberg, 1994a).
The fit between the style of thinking and ability is the recipe
for success. Every learner has a profile of learning styles and
not one single style. A creative learner may be very organized
or very scattered, v ery solitary or sociable. The styles of think-
ing change from task to task.
Learners are different from one another in the intensity of
their preferences. For instance, one learner may insist on work-
ing in a group while another is willing to work in a group but
does not really want to. Learners are different from one another
in the flexibility of their style of thinking. Sometimes the style
of thinking is not commensurate with the style of teaching in
the school and the learner must evince a degree of flexibility to
allow the learning (Sternberg, 1994a).
Sternberg (1997) maintains that it is possible to teach a
thinking style and that the thinking style can be measured. To
teach how to use a certain thinking style it is necessary to allow
the person activities that require him to use this thinking style.
When there is fit between the learner’s style of thinking and the
nature of the task he has been set, the results are the best (Smith,
2002; Sternberg, 1994a). Styles are not fixed and may change
over the course of life.
Sternberg (1994b) posited a theory on the question of how
people conduct their everyday cognitive activities inside and
outside the school. He classifies the styles of thinking into thir-
teen styles under five categories.
Function—the learner’s mode of operation.
Forms—the learner’s form of activity.
Levels—the learner’s level of coping with the situation or
Scope—the learner’s tendency to cope with the task alone
or in the group.
Leaning—the learner’s tendency to think independently or
The present research examines patterns of thinking as one of
the characteristics in the student’s personal world. The present
research study made partial use of the model proposed by
Sternberg (1994b) and addressed the relevant styles as charac-
teristic of and adjusted to the challenging learning environment
(Chamizer riddles). The thinking pattern is the composition of
the thinking styles. The students’ thinking styles in the present
research were examined in a questionnaire, based on the theory
of Sternberg (1997), which includes thirteen thinking styles,
from which six thinking styles were chosen: executive, internal,
external, liberal, conservative, and local. These thinking styles
characterize and are adjusted to the learning environment of the
Factors That Influence Thinking Styles
The person’s thinking style is influenced by a number of
variables, including culture, and within it the element of the
language (Smith, 2002; Sternberg, 1994a). Smith (2002) main-
tains that the cultural origin directs to the thinking style, for
instance, some countries esteem the individual’s success and
other countries esteem the success of the shared work of a
group of people (Smith, 2002). Hence, the native language (as a
characteristic of the cultural origin) constitutes a differentiation
between students (those whose native language is Hebrew—
local culture and those whose native language is not Hebrew—
a non-local culture).
Another factor is the gender. Sternberg (1997) describes a
research that examined the difference in the thinking styles
between boys and girls. Boys were described as adventurous,
with initiative, individualistic, with intention ability and pro-
gressive. Girls were described as cautious, dependent, sup-
ported, nosy, embarrassed, and obedient. These stereotypes rep-
resent predictions more than they represent reality.
To summarize, Sternberg (1997) emphasizes that to create
effective learning processes we must provide the learner with a
variety of activities and teaching methods so that at least some
of the activities or teaching methods will suit his thinking style.
Some teaching methods suit a certain teaching style more than
another one. The student chooses the thinking style for the situ-
ation where he is found. The teacher, according to Sternberg,
has an impact on his students’ thinking style.
The Student’s Perception of the Learning
The class is the physical and social environment where the
child spends his time and where he attempts different experi-
ences. The learning climate addresses the learning atmosphere
in the classroom, the norms on the topic of the studies, the stu-
dents’ expectations of success in the studies and their achieve-
ment behavior (Bar-El, 1996).
In the classroom framework, social processes and reciprocal
activities are created, influenced by many variables, such as
characteristics of the physical environment, characteristics of
the populations of students and teachers, and organizational
characteristics. These variables influence the unique character-
istics of the class, such as norms, attitudes towards the learning,
democracy, performance of assignments, help, cooperation, in-
terpersonal expectations, cohesion, and patterns of interpersonal
The class learning can be defined, first and foremost, in
terms of place, space, and time, when within these aspects the
processes of learning and teaching occur (Salomon, 2000b).
Fraser and Wohlberg (1981) and Salomon (2000a) focus the
learning environment as a main source that influences the stu-
dents’ behavior, their ability to develop critical thinking and
self-motivation, and their ability to assume upon themselves
responsibility for learning that continue s throughout their lives.
The constructivist approach engages in the learning envi-
ronment primarily in the social process of interaction and par-
ticipation, and acquisition of meaning in an interactive manner
for shared knowledge (Brooks, 2000; Greeno, 1997; Vygotsky,
The technological development and the structuring of tech-
nology in the constructivist class constitute the crowning achi-
evements as a challenging environment (Chamizer challenges
method) in education. Technology, as a learning resource, must
be included in every program for the re-shaping of schools,
since it provides the student and the teachers with access to
information and to tools that enable information to be addressed,
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s . 389
processed, and internalized and thus it facilitates the improve-
ment of the students’ achievements.
The research study engages in the constructivist learning en-
vironment—the structuring of knowledge using technology as a
tool of intellectual sharing (Salomon, 2000a). The basis of the
present research is the introduction of challenging learning
through the use of the computer and the Internet as technologi-
cal instrumented. The challenging learning—Chamizer chal-
lenges—enables the development of personal skills.
One of the main elements of these skills in the present re-
search is resources management that includes four elements that
control sources that are not related directly to thinking (Stern-
berg, 1985). The resources can be external, internal, and inter-
personal. The resources are management of time and learning
space, regulation of efforts, learning with peers, and search for
help (Garcia & Pintrich, 1996). As the student believes and
masters the resources of the learning—technological environ-
ment, social environment, work methods, and understands the
requirements, the level of performance in all types of tasks
included in the research rises.
The learning environment is greatly influenced by the tea-
cher’s support as it was perceived by the students, by the learn-
ing climate—conduct of the learning, the social climate—the
interpersonal interaction formed among the students themselves
and between them and the teachers (Assor, 2001). The domi-
nant argument in the literature is that the class climate is what
the student perceives subjectively, so that involvement in the
learning process develops (or does not develop) (Anderson,
1982; Huesmann & Guerra, 1997). The different learning app-
roaches focus on how to inspire the students’ curiosity and inte-
rest and what are the factors of motivation for learning (Mich-
enbaum, Burland, Gruson, & Cameron, 1998; Pokay & Blu-
The method of the Chamizer riddles implemented in the pre-
sent research has the goal of developing thinking in the learner;
critical thinking through the encouragement of motivation
(emotional element) in the student and the creation of cognitive
stimuli. This approach sets new challenges, complicated chal-
lenges, which constitute an impetus for the successful imple-
mentation of programs for the development of thinking (Pin-
trich, 1990a, 1990b; Pintrich & De Groot, 1990). It is expressed
in the student’s belief that he can do the riddle and he has emo-
tions, expectations, and beliefs that influence his efforts in
learning (Ames & Archer, 1999).
Chamizer riddles, unlike familiar riddles, most of which are
fashioned around factual knowledge and/or logic, are based on
the resources of associative imagination. Thus, by their very
definition, everything is right. There are infinite possibilities of
solution for every riddle and only one of them was chosen by
the riddle master (what he considers best). Therefore, with the
Chamizer Riddle every person can set sail to his domains of
knowledge, imagination, and association and create a process of
search and choice of a new type that ensures products of as-
similation and acquisition of knowledge in an unmediated man-
The Chamizer method creates a unique learning/educational
process that combines elements such as teamwork, focus, chal-
lenge, competitiveness, steadily increasing interest, enjoyment,
and self-motivation, with ‘adventurous enthusiasm’ and curios-
ity. This is an open method, in which creative imagination and
associative impetus have a main part in the direction of the
process. This method is one of the innovative pedagogies that
can be promoted through computer technology, including the
collection and organization of information for the study of data.
Salomon (2002a) addressed the changes that occur following
different projects (Chamizer Riddles) that are implemented in
technology rich environments.
Intensive use is made of computerization technologies.
The learning is interactive to a large extent, autonomous,
and based on teamwork.
The scholastic tasks enable the students to engage in a
structured and active manner in interdisciplinary and au-
The projects are directed by inquiry learning and self-direc-
Computerized communication enables near and far infor-
mation sources to be combined.
At the basis of the method is the learner’s experience of suc-
cess and learning. The student becomes responsible for his
success and for the success of the members of his group and of
his class. Moreover, the student becomes a teacher and an ex-
perience of learning and teaching develops and makes him a
partner. He develops strategies of cooperation and learning in
harmony. In this method, a shared language of values and be-
havior ways in the group develops.
To conclude, the primary objective of this research is to ex-
amine the implications of the implementation of an innovative
program for the creation of learning stimulus in a challenging
environment through riddles on the perception of the learning
experience in its different aspects. Previous researches maintain
that in a different learning environment the students will have
The program examined in the present research study was de-
veloped by the Intel Corporation with the collaboration of the
father of riddles, Mr. Dan Chamizer, and is called “The Cham-
izer Challenges Method in Education”. This program provides
students with activities in original and innovative methods and
the learning of broad topics that rely on broad areas of knowl-
edge. This goal includes the following sub-goals:
1) To evaluate the Chamizer challenges method in education
as an impetus for cognitive development that crosses the
bounds of curriculum as a strategy of thinking-focused teaching
in any learning framework. In a more focused manner, the goal
is to examine:
The contribution of the learning environment to the promo-
tion of achievements and motivation among students in the
traditional class as well as among gifted and talented stu-
The presence of differences in the achievements of the
groups of students.
The fact that the learning environment mediates between
the thinking styles and demographic and personal data and
the students’ achievements.
2) To evaluate the applicative ability of the model of Stern-
berg in the learning environments of gifted and talented stu-
dents and of students who are not gifted.
3) To develop and validate an instrument for the evaluation
of the Chamizer challenges method as an enigmatic universal
tool (in regards to the students’ achievements in the two
4) To examine the intervention of background characteristics,
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s .
learning, and thinking styles as an explanation of the achieve-
ments of the students who have experience in the challenging
learning environment of the Chamizer challenges method.
The Research Hypotheses
1) The background characteristics of the students influence
their achievements. A difference will be found among the stu-
dents in their achievements. These differences will be expres-
sed in the comparison among the students according to age,
gender, native language, and study framework.
2) The student’s style of thinking influences his achieve-
ments. A relationship will be found between the degree to
which the student uses each one of the thinking styles and the
level of his achievements.
3) The student’s perception of the learning environment in-
fluences his achievements. A relationship will be found be-
tween his evaluation of the learning environment (according to
all its different elements) and his level of achievements.
4) A relationship will be found between the student’s evalua-
tion of the dimensions of the learning environment and the level
of expression of the different thinking styles.
5) The background characteristics of students do not influ-
ence their evaluation of the learning environment. Hence, dif-
ferences will not be found among the students in the evaluation
of the learning according to age, gender, native language, and
6) The relationship between the student’s background vari-
ables and the styles of thinking that he expresses and his level
of achievements will be mediated by his degree of evaluation of
the learnin g environment.
The Research Study
The Research Objective
The research objective is to learn about the contribution that
the implementation of a learning program based on riddles has
on the students’ learning experience and achievements. In the
present research, the learning program is the Chamizer chal-
lenges method in education.
The Research Design
The research is a quantitative research study, based on a
methodology of comparative correlative research, which was
performed using a perceptions questionnaire for the measure-
ment of the research variables. The comparison between the
populations is performed both in regards to the distribution of
the variables and in regards to the strength of the relationships
among the variables (Birenbaum, 1993).
The Research Process
The data were collected from two populations: traditional
schools and the Gordon Center (cluster sampling according to
the characteristics of the school). A total of 79 students came
from traditional schools and 161 students came from the Gor-
The research was conducted in a number of stages:
Stage 1: The approval for the performance of a research
from the school principals was received and later the re-
quest was made for the teachers participation (according to
the list obtained by the principal).
Stage 2: On the basis of the researcher’s meetings in
schools, two schools were chosen from the North region
and two schools from the Central region. In parallel, the re-
searcher manages the Gordon Center and therefore diverse
courses given to the gifted and talented children were cho-
Stage 3: The “Chamizer Challenges” program was imple-
mented in all the schools and in the Gordon Center simul-
taneously, with the same instructions and directives (both
for students and for the accompanying teachers).
Stage 4: The research instrument was distributed and the
data were collected and coded using the SPSS program. T he
subjects were promised that the questionnaires would be
The Research Variables
1) Independent variables: thinking styles, demographic vari-
ables, age, gender, and native language.
2) Dependent variable: achievements in solving problems.
3) Mediated variable: perception of the learning environ-
The Research Instrument
Thinking Styles Questionnaire
The questionnaire was developed by Sternberg (1977). The
research used six thinking styles proposed by Sternberg, when
the content of the statement was adjusted to the different learn-
ing environments. The responses range on a Likert scale from 1
to 5, when 1 is “not at all” and 5 is “most considerably”. Con-
tent validity was evaluated using an expert (the developer of the
Chamizer challenges) to examine the relevance of the thinking
styles to the challenging environment (riddles). The reliability
was examined and found to be high in all the dimensions
(Cronbach’s alpha ranges from 0.61 to 0.83).
Student’s Perception of the Learning Environment
The questionnaire was developed by Ben Zakan (2000) and
found to be reliable in the present research (Cronbach’s alpha
ranges from 0.56 to 0.85). The five elements of the learning
environment were taken from the original research of Ben Za-
Findings and Conclusions
The findings of the quantitative research were presented in
two parts. In the first part, descriptive statistics were presented,
examining the means and standard deviations and Cronbach’s
alpha, which confirmed the internal reliability of all the re-
search variables and dimensions. In the second part, statistical
analyses were performed, examining the research hypotheses.
Pearson correlations examined the relationships between the
variables and t tests for independent samples examined the
differences between the two study frameworks. Multiple re-
gression analyses of the Enter type that examined predictions
and stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted, and
paths analysis using the AMOS program were performed to
examine the mediating variable. The statistical analyses in the
second part examined the following:
1) The relationship between background characteristics and
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s . 391
2) The relationship between the perception of the thinking
style and the level of achievements.
3) The relationship between the perception of the learning
environment and the achievements.
4) The relationship between the thinking style and the
evaluation of the learning environment.
5) The relationship between gender, age, and native language
and the learning environment.
6) The relationship between the background variables and the
thinking style with the mediation of the learning environment.
The Relationship between the Background
Characteristics and the Achievements
As the research hypothesis stated, it was found that the
learners of a higher age achieved higher achievements. The
speakers of a native language that is not Hebrew attained higher
achievements than did those whose native language is Hebrew.
A significant difference was not found in the achievements
between boys and girls. Hence, as the age rises, the ability to
achieve rises (Dagan, 1989; Fried, 1984; Piaget & Inhelder,
The native language, especially among immigrants from the
countries of the Former Soviet Union, was found to predict
achievements in the comparison to the native Hebrew speakers.
Levin, Shohami, and Spulsky (2003) explain this finding as
characteristic of those from the Former Soviet Union, who
come from a culture that cultivates achievements and excel-
lence. Additional research studies (Smith, 2002) support this
finding and the empowerment of youth through the cultivation
of the learning environment and the creation of conditions for
Significant differences were found in the achievements of the
traditional school frameworks in comparison to the Gordon
Center students, whose achievements were lower. The present
research study found that the traditional learning framework
adopts learning in groups in comparison to the Gordon Center
framework, which is characterized by individual learning.
Hence, it can be learned that learning in groups increases
achievements (Hertz-Lazarovitz, 1997; Rotem & Peled, 2006;
The Relationship between Perception of Thinking
Styles and Level of Achievements
As the research hypothesis stated, it was found that there is a
positive significant correlation between the local, internal, and
liberal patterns of thinking and the students’ level of achieve-
ments in the entire sample. Among the Gordon Center students,
a relationship was not found between the thinking styles and
the level of achievements. In other words, the thinking styles do
not predict success/achievements among the gifted and talented
students while in the traditional schools it was found that as the
style is perceived as more local, executive, and liberal, the level
of achievements is higher. Hence, it can be understood that the
thinking styles in regards to the present research have (partial)
abilities to predict success when the conditions of the develop-
ment of the thinking styles are conditions as described in the
school in the traditional environment. On the basis of the find-
ings of Sternberg (1997) and Smith (2002) and in regards to the
present research findings, it can be assumed that through the
assessment of the thinking styles it will be possible to adjust the
type of task to the thinking style and thus increase the chances
of success. In the present research, it is possible to present the
existence of differences in the thinking patterns regarding the
different learning environments (traditional, Gordon Center).
However, it is not possible to present clusters of thinking pat-
terns due to the low number of research subjects.
The Relationship between Perception of the Learning
Environment and Achievements
As the research hypothesis stated, it was found that the per-
ception of the learning environment predicts success/ achieve-
ments only among the Gordon Center students. A relationship
was not found between the learning environment and the tradi-
tional learning framework. Zedkiyahu (1998) maintains that
this relationship depends on the study subject. The present re-
search study showed another effect, beyond the subject of study:
the cultivation of the group of learners—gifted and talented
students who receive beyond the regular learning environment
an academic learning environment in the Gordon Center. It is
possible that this finding contributed to the prediction ability of
the perception of the learning environment for the success of
the Gordon Center students.
The Relationship between Thinking Style and
Assessment of the Learning Environment
As the hypothesis stated, it was found that as the thinking
patterns are characterized by local and liberal styles on a higher
level, the perception of the learning is significantly better. Sup-
port of the findings is seen in research (Michenbaum et al.,
1998; Piaget, in Zorman, 1993; Pokay & Blumenfeld, 1990). In
this context, it can be assumed that motivation (Ames, 1990)
from the teaching process is not disconnected from the impor-
tance the student attributes to the study topic (content and me-
thod) and constitutes a catalyst for the success in the achieve-
ment of the goal (Ames & Archer, 1999; Pintrich & de Groot,
The Relationship between Gender, Age, and Native
Language and the Learning Environment
As the hypothesis stated, it was found that the girls assess the
learning environment as higher than do the boys, beyond the
specific learning environment. Klein, and Weiss (2007) found
that women are more attentive, evince higher openness to staff
conduct, and tend to involve others more in counsel, problem
solving, and decision making. In contrast, men have a greater
tendency to make decisions and solve problems individually
(egocentrism), share less, and are less attentive to others. While
this finding refers to the adult worker population in the work
environments, it perhaps can also explain the present research
The child’s native language was found to influence the per-
ception of the social climate so that a child whose native lan-
guage is not Hebrew perceives the social climate as lower than
does a child whose native language is Hebrew.
The present research proposes to see the learning environ-
ment as the student sees it, in conditions of challenging learning
(Chamizer riddles) as a variable that explains success and
achievements and mediates between the thinking styles and the
students’ achievements in the traditional learning environment.
The learning environment is empowered in its importance since
it has the ability to predict success of gifted and talented stu-
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s .
dents (without mediation ability).
Additional demographic variables were not examined as
having the ability to explain the evaluation of the learning en-
vironment. In addition, the native language was not explicitly
addressed in the literature.
The Relationship between Background Variables and
Thinking Style with the Mediation of the L earni ng
According to the research hypothesis, it was found that
among the students in the traditional schools, the learning en-
vironment is a variable the completely mediates the relationship
between the thinking styles and the students’ achievements.
However, the perception of the learning environment does not
constitute a mediating variable in the relationship between
thinking styles and achievements in the Gordon Center. In the
Gordon Center, only the liberal thinking style has impact on the
students’ achievements. As the liberal style is higher, the
achievements are higher. In other words, as the Gordon Center
students received challenges with tasks in an innovative, origi-
nal, and challenging manner, which provide a platform for in-
vestigation of new situations that are not unequivocal, chal-
lenging the existing situations in a daring and creative way
through the inculcation of skills of personal leadership and
creation of a toolbox for the coping with challenges of thinking
on a high level, their achievements are higher (Krathwohl,
Bloom, & Masia, 1964).
The present research proposes to see the learning environ-
ment as the student perceives it, in conditions of challenging
learning (Chamizer riddles) as a variable that explains success
and achievements and mediates between thinking styles (Stern-
berg, 1995) and the students’ achievements in the traditional
learning environment. The learning environment is empowered
since it was found to be able to predict the success of gifted and
talented students (without mediation ability).
The Research Model—Paths Analysis for the Two
According to this model, the learning environment mediates
the relationship between the thinking styles and the achieve-
ments only in traditional schools. The executive, external, and
conservative thinking styles lose their impact on the achieve-
ments when the learning environment is examined as a mediat-
ing variable. In the Gordon Center, in contrast, there is no direct
impact of the thinking styles on the achievements, aside from
the liberal thinking style. As the liberal style is higher, the
achievements are higher. The factor of the learning environ-
ment does not mediate this relationship and in essence consti-
tutes the meaningful factor that directly influences the achi-
evements. All the thinking styles aside from the liberal style
were not found to influence the achievements directly, a finding
that supports the significant impact of the perception of the
learning environment that the student experienced on the
achievements in the special learning environment of the Gordon
Summary and Conclusion
The present research found the learning environment to be a
variable that completely mediates the relationship between the
thinking styles and the students’ achievements. The study
framework does not constitute a variable that mediates the rela-
tionship between thinking styles and achievements in the
The girls in the present research evaluated the learning envi-
ronment as higher than did the boys. Among children whose
native language is not Hebrew, the social climate was found to
be lower than that among children whose native language is
Hebrew. However, the perception of the learning environment
was found to be a variable that mediates between demographic
and personal characteristics and thinking style and achieve-
ments/success only among the students in the traditional learn-
This finding reflects a phenomenon that should be examined.
The reference should be from the very introduction of a peda-
gogical instrument—the Chamizer riddles, developed by the
Intel Corporation for the knowledge industries, when its interest
is to develop creative autonomy, critical ability, and broad
education—the “thinking class”.
The meaning of this thesis, as proposed in the present re-
search study, is that a challenging project has the ability to be
generalized in different learning environments (traditional/
Gordon Center for gifted and talented children), under condi-
tions in which the students perceive the learning environment
as such that cultivates a social and learning climate, motivation
to learn, opportunities for resources management abilities—all
with the teacher’s support and cultivation of reciprocity and
teamwork in the solution of the riddles.
On the basis of the research findings, it is recommended to
conduct a further research to be based on an experimental
design with the allocation to two groups (experimental and
It is recommended to represent a more diverse sample to
differentiate between sectors of the population that repre-
sent elements such as native language, to reinforce the
finding in the present research study, the parental education,
as predictors of achievements and additional demographic
variables that did not arise in the present research.
The present research study found differences in the evalua-
tion of the work environment between students in the tradi-
tional schools and students in the Gordon Center. The re-
search findings show lower scores of the Gordon Center
students in their perception of the learning environment.
This finding necessitates the re-examination of the expecta-
tions in regards to the satisfaction of the Gordon Center
children so as to enable higher levels of development and
achievements. The shaping of the learning environment of
the gifted students should allow the opportunity to develop
personal traits such as creativity, curiosity, insight, perse-
verance, imagination, and tolerance, through the develop-
ment of skills of the cultivation of social awareness in dis-
cussions, researches, and surveys, through teamwork.
The present research study raises the question of what is the
appropriate/challenging environment that motivates to suc-
cess? The awareness of the ability observed in the present
research of the students in traditional classes to cope suc-
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s . 393
cessfully in a challenging environment, as proposed by the
program of Intel headed by Dan Chamizer, requires the
continued assimilation of such challenging programs in the
traditional learning curricula. This recommendation neces-
sitates the training program of role-holders in education to
have the ability to lead such projects.
It is recommended to encourage the participation and in-
volvement outside factors with proven ability to intervene
as an instrument of educational development to join the ef-
fort. This process needs to lead to the adoption and to the
assimilation of the principles upon which the initiative is
based, till they become working guidelines.
It is necessary to create an assimilation program beyond the
one-time event so that a program like that of Chamizer and
Intel will fit into the school curriculum.
The accessibility to the learning resources (computers, tech-
nology) is a main point. It is necessary to refer to the place
of the resources in regards to the desired changes and pri-
marily to the place of modern technology.
It is necessary to acknowledge the importance of the ele-
ment of the social climate. The social aspect, which is pri-
mary the ability of different individuals in the system to
cooperate (students, teachers, principals, parents, and other
interested parties) is a main aspect in all that pertains to the
promotion of processes of change in the approaches of
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