2. What is Cognitive theory?
• Cognitive theory is a branch off of traditional psychological concepts of the
way we think, decide, remember, etc.
• These are what psychologists see as the basis for our behavior.
• Cognitive theory came about as an objection to a behaviorism; behaviorists
thought that learning was just a reaction and ignored the idea that thinking
3. Key Players in Cognitivist Theory
Allan Paivio (1925 - )
Robert Gagne (1916-2002)
Howard Gardner (1943 - )
Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)
4. Allan Paivio (1925 - )
• Proposed that presenting information in both visual
and verbal form enhances recall and recognition
• Based on this proposal, he developed research that
eventually resulted in a theory called “Dual Coding
• His research supports the theory that today’s visual
learners learn in different ways depending on the
• Dual Coding Theory assumes that people process
information in two distinctly different ways: images
• Dual Coding Theory identifies three subprocesses:
1. representational – verbal or nonverbal
representations are directly influenced
2. referential – verbal system is activated by
nonverbal communication, or vice versa
3. associative – both text base systems and graphic
representations can trigger mental associations
*** A given task may require any or all of the three kinds of processing and
form the basis for the study of such things as learning a second language.***
5. Robert Gagne (1916 - 2002)
• Robert Gagne was a psychologist and educator. He developed his learning theories based partially on the behaviorist’s and
information-processing point of view.
• He is known for his contributions in the area of cognitive learning hierarchies, which involves the development of skills
based on a building block principle. He identified five major categories of learning: verbal information, intellectual skills,
cognitive strategies, motor skills, and attitudes.
• Gagne began to develop some of his ideas for his comprehensive learning theory while in the air force; into this theory he
incorporated characteristics of both behavior modification theory and performance education.
• He came up with three principles that he viewed as necessary for the foundation of learning; these principles stated, simply,
that the teacher must provide instruction on the set of component tasks that build toward a final task, ensure that each task
in mastered, and sequence the tasks so they can be built upon for a final task or ultimate goal. In other words “ a teacher
must teach the alphabet before her students can read words, and words before sentences, single sentences before two or
three sentences, and multiple paragraphs before stories.” This reflects his hierarchy of learning.
6. Howard Gardner (1943 - )
Many researchers believe that intelligence is key to understanding how students learn. Howard Gardner developed what he called
the theory of multiple intelligences. He researched on regular and gifted students at the University of Harvard, as well as adults with
brain damage. In the subjects with brain damage, he wanted to link the part of the brain that had been injured and the effects of
learning and other physical abilities from the physical injury.
He found that individuals use eight different intelligences to perceive and view the world. Since his original studies he has found
three more for a total of eleven intelligences. He believes that although all individuals have 11 intelligences, many have one, two, or
even three that are most dominant.
He concluded that teachers need to use a variety of methods when teaching to make sure that each child’s strong intelligences are
met and used, because each student learns differently.
7. Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)
• He was an educational psychologist and focused his research on students’
learning domains. He sought out to classify learning behaviors to better
understand how knowledge is absorbed by children.
• Bloom classified learning behaviors into three categories: cognitive, affective,
• Cognitive domain – a students’ intellectual level
• Affective domain – a students’ emotions, interests, attitude, attention and awareness
• Psychomotor domain – a students’ motor skills and physical abilities
8. Benjamin Bloom (cont..)
• He studied these learning behaviors in hopes of creating a practical way of
classifying curriculum goals and objectives. Many teachers today use these
behaviors when creating curriculum in their own classrooms. Teachers often
arrange their curriculum into levels that can be built upon using a scaffolding
effect from simple to complex.
• Within the cognitive domain, Bloom identified six levels that can be used to
gain knowledge about any one given topic. His levels have been referred to
as “Blooms Taxonomy”.
9. Benjamin Bloom (cont..)
• Bloom’s Taxonomy:
1. Knowledge – learner can recall information
2. Comprehension – learner can explain and predict
3. Application – learner can solve problems and use information
4. Analysis – learner can see patterns, organize parts, and recognize hidden meanings
5. Synthesis – learner can use previous ideas to create new ones, and relate ideas from several
6. Evaluation – learner can compare and discriminate between ideas, judge, and value ideas
10. Benjamin Bloom (cont..)
• Bloom believed and demonstrated through his research that all children can
learn. His taxonomy levels have been linked to mastery learning.
• Mastery Learning – a model for learning in which students continue to gain
information and knowledge, working through modules or teacher
instruction, only after they have mastered the content of previous modules.
• All students can learn given the correct conditions for learning and sufficient
time. The critical ingredient is changing teaching methods so each student
can master the skill in their own way.
11. My Classroom
• I agree with all of the research that these four individuals have found to be
substantial to the learning environment of children. Working in a classroom,
and having previous experience with children that have special needs of all
different types, you must create your curriculum based on their needs and
learning styles. Not all children learn the same way and you must be prepared
to explain it in different ways, languages, and styles so that all children have a
chance to retain the same information.