Sunday, 5 March 2017

What is Cognitivism?

Literally, to cognize means to know, and hence cognition is knowing. Cognitivism is the study of cognition that emphasizes the role of mental structure, or organization.


Cognitivism involves the study of mental events rather than actual behaviors. These mental events are concerned with acquiring, processing, storing, and retrieving information. Accordingly, the main emphasis in a cognitive analysis of learning is on the learner’s mental structure.

cognitive structure:

The (learner’s) mental structure refers to the organized totality of an individual’s knowledge; also called cognitive structure. The mental structure is a concept that includes not only the learner’s previous related knowledge but also the strategies that the learner might bring to bear on the current situation. In this view, the individual’s pre-existing network of concepts, strategies, and understanding makes experience meaningful.

Here it is worth mentioning that a “concept” stands for a collection of perceptual experiences or ideas that are related because they possess common properties.

One major emphasis of cognitive approaches concerns how information is processed and stored.

Our current model of cognitive functioning is essentially an information processing model. This model looks at three things: 

First, it looks at the knowledge base. The knowledge base is the storehouse of information, concepts, and associations that we build up as we develop from children into adults.

Second, it looks at cognitive strategies. The cognitive strategies refer to the process by which information becomes part of the knowledge base; these include identifying problems, selecting approaches to their solution, monitoring progress in solving problems, and using feedback.  The cognitive strategies are closely related to metacognition and metamemory.

Third, it deals with the individual’s awareness of the self as a knower and processor of information—with what is termed metacognition.  

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