Cognitive-Based Learning


Cognitive-based learning is concerned with the various manifestations or types of learning involved in cognitive functioning and development. For example, learning itself is a cognitive process. Identifying and assessing how students learn (cognitive style) and then teaching in a way that favors their learning style is the basis of a cognitive-based learning program.

Adaptive Cognitive-Based Learning

  • Adaptive cognitive-based learning or to adaptively select learning resources involves adapting rules according to the learning characteristics and cognitive style specific to the preferences of a student. For example, according to the Education Resources of Information Center, the Cognitive Trait Model is a method concerned with determining a learners cognitive characteristics when students navigate through a computer-based information retrieval system designed to approximate their cognitive style.

Problem-Based Learning

  • Problem-based learning is concerned with facilitating learning by working through robust and challenge-driven problems involved in seeking multiple alternatives specific to solutions. For example, students within a learning environment may be put into small groups and asked to work through a case study to form three possible working solutions distinct from each other. Ultimately, students found receptive to this model could have the pace, structure and presentation style of their curriculum reflect their cognitive characteristics.

Constructivist Learning Theory

  • According to Jean Piaget, children's play, despite seeming aimless and pointless, significantly contributes to a child's cognitive development. Constructivist learning theory involves students learning by constructing new ideas and assimilating new information from their prior knowledge and past experiences. The result ideally leads to the student claiming a sort of ownership and thereby internalizing the new information. Simple examples of this are outlines and mind maps, where information of what is known is acknowledged and acts as the foundation for new incoming information to connect to older information in order of relevance

Pedagogical Learning Theory

  • Pedagogical learning is concerned with teaching according to cognitive-based learning specific to how children process, learn and assimilate incoming information. For example, the pedagogical-learning model tries to transfer knowledge incrementally and to present subject matter in order of levels of difficulty and current ability. Notable instances reflecting this example is the "golden star" posted next to a young student's achievements, representing a gradual proceeding to the next reading level.

Andragogical Learning Theory

  • Cognitive-based learning is concerned with adjusting teaching strategies to the cognitive characteristics particular to how adults learn. For example, an educator implementing a curriculum focused around solutions and real-world problems is a major theme involved in andragogical learning theory. For example, assigning adult students homework involving productivity within a social-conflict-type environment, likely reflects real world problems where any discovered solutions can be directly applied.


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