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The Cognitive Theory


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  • 1. By Shemaiah Click the arrow to continue The Cognitive Theory
  • 2. A Closer Look • According to this theory “replaced behaviorism in the 1960’s”. • The Cognitive Theory differs from the Behavioral Theory in which, this theory involves active thinking. • It also centers around exploration of the inner mental activities. • The Cognitive Theory suggests that people not only learn visually but mentally as well. • This theory also based on the idea that knowledge is based on and directly associated with prior knowledge. For example, a student can spell words because he or she can recognize letters and letter sounds.
  • 3. Major Contributors  For this theory there are four major contributors:  Allan Paivio  Robert Gagne  Howard Gardner  Benjamin Bloom
  • 4. Allan Paivio (1925-Present)  Allan Paivio is widely known for his dual coding theory. Basically, Allan Paivio believed that people learn in two distinct fashions: by processing information visually and verbally.  His theory identified three of the following sub processes: representational, referential, and
  • 5. Allan Paivio Continued…  The representational sub process holds that “verbal and nonverbal communications are directly influenced.” (262).  The referential sub process concludes that verbal systems are triggered by nonverbal sources of communication methods.  The associative sub process suggests that “text based systems and graphic representations can trigger mental associations.” (262).
  • 6. Robert Gagne (1916-2002)  Robert Gagne contributions to this theory were heavily influenced by the behaviorist and information processing theories.  He established goals for educators and learning outcomes for the students.  He believed that students were directly effected by internal and external stimuli.  He also put a great deal of emphasis on teachers. In other words, he encouraged teachers to teach mastery learning, of learning content in order for students to advance to more difficult material.  Gagne’s learning outcomes for students are shown on the right.
  • 7. Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)  Benjamin Bloom along with a team of psychologists classified “learning behaviors to better understand how knowledge is absorbed”. (265).  Bloom categorized this information into three separate parts: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.  The cognitive domain is “the student’s intellectual ability” (265), the affective domain, defines the “student’s emotions, interests, and attitudes” (265), and psychomotor domain defines the student’s physical ability and motor skills (265).
  • 8. Benjamin Bloom Continued…  Bloom developed six levels within the cognitive domain. The levels progress from simple to complex with the goal of increasing student comprehension.  These six levels are referred to as Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Bloom believed that all students posses the ability to succeed.  Today Bloom’s Taxonomy is linked with mastery learning (265).
  • 9. Howard Gardner (1943- Present)  Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences.  He conducted extensive research of exceptional students, as well as those who had suffered brain trauma. He used his original findings to conclude that “people use a variety of eight intelligences” (263) to construct their view and understanding of the world.  Howard Gardner agreed that instructional methods should vary in style so that the intelligences of all
  • 10. Under this theory Teachers use: Students use:  language to convey information.  visual representations to trigger mental associations.  Plan lessons to improve internal processes.  Appeal to multiple intelligences, those that involve technology and those that do not.  Use previous knowledge as a building block to introduce difficult material, and promote mastery learning.  Take in consideration the ability of the student, his or her attitude and emotional state, and motor skills to encourage comprehension.  Plan curriculum activities that appeal to their students.  The material they have previously learned as an aid to understand new material.  Their intelligence to comprehend the material they are being asked to assess.  Their external forces to process the information internally.  What they already know, their interests, attitudes, emotional, motor skills, physical ability, and awareness to help them get through the learning process.  Master one skill before advancing to a more difficult one.
  • 11. My Teaching Style  For my own teaching style, I think that this theory would a great asset. Not only is this theory diverse in how students learn , I think that it does a phenomenal job of covering each learning style. For students who are visual, technology could be used to present a entire lesson or even part of a lesson. The use of technology is beneficial because it would appeal to both visual and audio learners.  This theory would also be great for my teaching style because it incorporates the talents, interests, and abilities of the student. As an educator my desire is to present the lesson to each of my students in a way that he or she can personally understand.  Furthermore, this theory complements my teaching style because it involves using previous knowledge as a tool to review, further mastery learning, and present new material.
  • 12. Credits  Active Learning as a Means to Enhance Higher Order Thinking Skills. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <>.  Cognitivism. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.  Jenny's lesson plan. N.p., 28 June 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <>.  Multiple Intelligence Projects. N.p., 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. < intelligence-projects-9016>.  Shelly, Gary B., Glenda A. Gunter, and Randolph E. Gunter. Teachers Discovering Computers Integrating Technology in a Connected World. 7thth ed. Boston: Course Technology, 2012. 261-66. Print.  Teorie duálního kódování. N.p., 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. < o_kodovani_Hedbavny/>.