What is the cognitivist theory of learning, and what are the implications for classroom practice?
What is the Learning theory of Cognitivism?
The Learning Theory of Cognitivism concentrates on how a person's mind receives, organizes, saves and retrieves information. The cognitive theory believes that the human mind functions like an information processor or computer. Therefore, the cognitivist approach looks beyond noticeable behaviour, considering learning as an internal mental process.
In a classroom, cognitivism offers Advantageous Learning Environments that evolve through interactive mental activities that stimulate the thinking ability of students. For instance, when learners listen to thought-provoking questions, it tutors their brains to move further from their current knowledge to get solutions.
Cognitivists believe that humans learn from thinking. They believe that we learn from our experiences and that we can change our behaviors based on new information. Knowledge is considered an internal process rather than a product.
Cognitive learning theories are based on the idea that knowledge acquisition occurs when learners actively engage in problem-solving activities. CLT assumes that students learn better when they use their own thinking skills rather than being taught facts and procedures.
It emphasizes active learning over passive learning. Active learning involves students engaging in meaningful tasks that require them to apply their own thinking skills. Passive learning involves students simply memorizing information.
If you've read any books on learning theory, you will have probably already encountered names such as Bandura's Social Learning Theory, Piaget's cognitive development and Kolb's Learning Cycle. If you're interested in why cognition is central to learning and how it might differ from other perspectives of education, then keep reading. We'll talk about why cognition is important for the design of instruction and how it might differ from other current learning theories.
What are the main principles of Cognitivism?
Cognitivism principles intend to optimize how adult learners can understand, think about, integrate and process new information. The new knowledge adds to the familiar knowledge in the memory of adult learners. The following are the main principles of cognitivism for more effective human learning in Educational Settings:
- Learning must be purposeful and focused.
- Learning must be self-directed;
- Learning must come from Analysis to Discovery.
- Organising information into Schemas helps students build conceptual models.
- Long-term memory is enhanced by enabling students to organise and encode learning material.
- Curriculum content must be well-sequenced and understood in the context of the bigger picture.
What is Cognitive Learning?
Cognitive learning is an active acquisition of learning that concentrates on helping students learn how to maximize their mental ability. Cognitive strategies make it easier for the students to connect new information with current understanding, thus aggravating their retention and memory capacity.
Embracing a 'thinking approach' to learning promotes Cognitive Development of students and prepares them to use their brains more effectively. Cognitive learning involves long-lasting, constructive, and active involvement of students in educational practices. It makes learners completely engaged in the learning process which makes it easier to think, learn and remember things.
The cognitive process does not involve repetition or memorization. It is related to meaningful learning how to learn and creating true understanding. The following are some critical features of cognitive learning strategies:
- Applying visualizations to enhance students' recall and basic understanding of the concepts taught in the classroom;
- Asking learners to show active participation in explaining and justifying their thinking;
- Helping students understand and explore connections between different ideas.
- Having discussions about the depth of knowledge or topic being taught.
- Asking learners to reflect on knowledge in memory of students;
- Offers opportunities for Learners and students to find new answers to problems.
What is the main goal of instruction in Cognitivism?
Cognitivist learning theories explain that the primary goal of instruction is to achieve academic achievement through the Acquisition Of Knowledge in the most effective way. To achieve the main goal of instruction students are encouraged to use the most beneficial cognitive strategies to gain knowledge.
Self-regulated learning is the process of monitoring, controlling and managing student behaviours, thoughts, emotions, and interactions with the environment, including social interactions and task performance. Due to its large scope, self-regulated learning gives opportunities for learners to know how responses can be organized across a wide range of coping strategies and skills (E.G., Self-Planning cognitive restructuring, self-talk, etc.). With such a broad focus, self-regulated learning enables an individual to explain the loss of control which may occur due to engaging in a wide range of less desirable behaviours such as excessive drinking.
What is the difference between Cognitivist and Behavioral Theories of learning?
Cognitivist Theories and Behavioral Theories of learning are both these instructional theories that have a dominant position in educational psychology. Cognitive development theory was proposed by psychologist Jean Piaget in response to behaviorism proposed by B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson during the early 20th century. There is a major difference between cognitive learning theories and behavioral theories of education. The cognitive learning theories focus on cognitive development or cognitive processes involving internal mental processes and the primary approach of behaviorism is focused on external factors or external observable behaviours. The behavioural theory believes that a student is a passive blank slate shaped by external forces or both negative and positive reinforcement.
What is the Two-store Model of cognitivism?
The Two-store Model or dual memory model is an early model of cognitivism. This specific approach to learning assumes that there is a connection between long-term memory and working memory. The two-store model of cognitive theory is now considered incomplete and simplistic but seen as a beginning point to understanding cognitive learning theories. The expansion in the field of developmental psychology has led to the development of more theories of cognitivism. Hence, in Educational Psychology there is no universally accepted theory or cognitive model.
How can educational technology aid cognition for learning?
Cognitive Load Theory proposes that when the mind's cognitive abilities get overloaded it stops the learning process in the students. However, Cognitive Load Theorists believe that Educational Technology may help reduce cognitive abilities overload. The main goal of instruction is to use Educational technology to keep students focused on the learning process of the target lesson.
From an instructional design perspective, we can use technology to break down complex tasks and scaffold the learning experience. Advanced knowledge acquisition is dependent upon how well a student has thought about the curriculum content. Instructional design practices can be enhanced by providing learning tools that lessen the load on the working memory.
What is the effect of Mobile Learning on Cognition?
The rapid advancement of science and technology has shone light on the importance of 21st Century Skills and Academic Abilities In Students. When used purposely, Mobile learning applications provide effective learning tools that can enhance learning and improve cognitive development in students. Mobile learning makes learning more accessible to students, teachers and parents.
Students show more interest in education. Research shows that mobile learning can engage learners at higher levels of cognition. Therefore, students should be provided with mobile learning opportunities such that students can develop higher levels of cognitive abilities.
How is cognitivism used in the classroom?
Social learning theory concentrates on the conceptions of learning and reinforcement, whereas, Cognitivist Theories focus on the cognitive processes and their role in the learning outcomes of the students. By bringing our conscious attention to the nuts and bolts of how we think and learn, we begin to see learning as a science that all of us can master.
Cognitive learning strategies are useful for children because these address issues that allow students to gain Academic Achievement through learning effectively and ensuring that the concepts learned in class are not just memorized, but also well-understood. Cognitive Processing Strategies help children in the following different ways:
- Finding the most helpful way of formal and informal learning —whether a student is an auditory learner, visual learner, or otherwise;
- Helping children to apply and retain 21st-century skills and new concepts effectively;
- Teaching children the way to take an approach to the “big picture” to learning to find out how smaller cognitive conceptions fit into Complex Learning Tasks or larger thoughts.
Applying a cognitive approach in an organizational setting
Below is an example of utilizing a cognitive approach as one of the organizational strategies for goal setting at a workplace:
A team leader in the department of training in a big enterprise has been asked to instruct a new intern to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for a forthcoming project.
In this situation, it is presumed that the intern holds no experience with cost-benefit analysis in a company.
The protocols for this activity may not exactly correspond to those of the cost-benefit analysis but the resemblance between the cognitive activities enables the unfamiliar information to be used in a familiar situation.