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What is Cognitive Learning Theory?
• Explains why the brain is the most incredible
network of information processing and
interpretation in the body as we learn things
• Cognitive learning theories are based on how
people think (Ormrod, 2008).
• ‘to think using the brain’
• active mental process to receive, store and
• cognitive process to choose, focus, ignore,
reflect and make decision on changes in
environment (Woolfolk, 1998).
Learning takes place when new
knowledge is gained or modified
Did you know that…
The bushes and clouds in Super Mario Bros are
the same, just colored differently.
Did you know that…
Mayonnaise is made from oil and eggs
Did you know that…
Goats have rectangular pupils
Did you know that…
Butterflies are cannibals
Gestalt Learning Model
The three main Gestalt theorists
1. Max Wertheimer (1880 - 1943)
• His ideas featured the view that thinking proceeds from the whole
to the parts, treating a problem as a whole.
2. Kurt Koffka (1887 - 1941)
• There is no such thing as a completely meaningless learning.
3. Wolfgang Kohler (1887 - 1967)
• Köhler emphasized that one must examine the whole to discover
what its natural parts are.
Ausubel Learning Model
David Ausubel, M.D. (1918 - 2008 )
• American psychologist
• Did his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania
(pre-med and psychology)
• Particularly relevant for educators, considered neo-
behaviorist views inadequate.
• Focused on verbal learning
• He dealt with the nature of meaning
• Believes the external world acquires meaning only as it is
converted into the content of consciousness by the learner.
Gagne Learning Model
• Robert Gagne (1916–2002) was an educational psychologist
who pioneered the science of instruction in the 1940s.
• 5 types of learning
Gagne Nine Levels of Learning
Gagne Nine Levels of Learning : to ensure that your team fully understands and retains
Eight Conditions of Learning
• Signal learning: the learner makes a general response to a signal
• Stimulus-response learning: the learner makes a precise response to a
• Chaining: the connection of a set of individual stimulus & responses in a
• Verbal association: the learner makes associations using verbal
• Discrimination learning: the learner makes different responses to different
stimuli that are somewhat alike
• Concept learning: the learner develops the ability to make a generalized
response based on a class of stimuli
• Rule learning: a rule is a chain of concepts linked to a demonstrated
• Problem solving: the learner discovers a combination of previously learned
rules and applies them to solve a novel situation
• The Gagne Assumption ~ is for each of the different types of learning
(learning goals) that exist different instructional conditions are required.
Bruner Learning Model
• Born New York City, October 1, 1915. He received his A.B.
degree from Duke University in 1937 and his Ph.D in 1947
• Bruner's theories emphasize the significance of categorization
• Bruner believes children have to learn by themselves.
• Enactive representation –The child has little in the way of
mental faculties so ‘thinking is a physical action.’ Knowledge
is what the child can manipulate or do with movements, for
example tying knots, pointing etc.
• Iconic representation –These icons or images are built up
from past experience and based on a number of exposures to
similar objects and events.
• Symbolic representation –For the first time the child can
categorise, think logically and solve problems.
The information processing approach
• Depicts how mental processes operate
• See the human mind as a computer that
processes information from external sources,
then stores and retrieves it
• Thinking is a rational process
• Memory is central to information processing
The multistore model
of information processing
• Depicts information processing as a sequence of
• Each stage has a different processing function
• Sensory register: new information enters through
the senses and is stored for less than a second
• Short-term memory (STM): a temporary storage
place with the capacity to store approximately
• Strategies for remembering information in STM:
• chunking is when related items are grouped into
a single meaningful unit
• rehearsal is where information is repeated and
practised to aid storage and retrieval
• Long-term memory (LTM) is a permanent
storage facility for information
• Types of LTM:
• episodic – memories of events
• semantic – memories about language and the
world around us
• procedural – memories about procedures for
performing a skill
Brain = complex network of interconnected
units of information
Information = stored in patterns of
connectivity (neural networks)
Why & How Learners Forget
Fail to pay adequate attention to information
during the sensory register & short-term
memory (STM) stages
STM has limited capacity, thus leading to us
not remembering everything
Long-term memory (LTM) decays
Interference occurs – new memories interfere
with LTMs, thus making the retrieval of
We do not use the right cues to retrieve info
Information becomes knowledge when we act
upon it cognitively to make meaning for
Types of knowledge:
- declarative (knowing that)
- procedural (knowing how)
- conditional (knowing when and how)
Represents/illustrates the complexity of
Allows for close analysis of cognitive processes
& thus helps educators understand how
Emphasises on the importance of memory
and how to enhance recall
Sequential depictions of information
processing do not represent the complexity of
We depend too much of the computer as an
analogy for how humans think
The model fails to consider environmental,
genetic and cultural influences on info
Metacognition: Managing Cognitive
An executive control process overseeing
cognitive activity which includes self-
monitoring & self-regulation
• Ability to control your own thoughts.
1) Person knowledge: knowledge about one’s self
& others’ thinking
2) Task knowledge: knowledge that different types
of task exert different types of cognitive
3) Strategy knowledge: knowledge about cognitive
& metacognitive strategies for enhancing
learning and performance (planning,
Include feelings associated with particular
e.g., you feel anxious when you realise you
do not know what the lecturer is talking
Connected to self-esteem
e.g., when we feel confident about regulating our
cognitive processing, we will feel more positive
about ourselves & abilities
Develops when children’s capacity develop for
abstract thought, self-reflect & self-regulate.
Some research shows evidence of
metacognition in younger children, but the
skill develops most notably among
A positive relationship between performance
on academic tasks & learners’ ability to use
metacognitive strategies (Lucangeli, Coi &
Students of learning disabilities show that
metacognitive strategy instruction enhances
learners’ thinking and social skills (Rosenthal-
Strategies Across Culture
Sociocultural factors may influence the ways
individual think about themselves & their own
thinking (their metacognitive knowledge and
Research findings on cross-cultural differences
in metacognitive strategy use are equivocal
(ambiguos), but some differences between
cultures have been noted
Different people have preferred ways of
perceiving, processing & remembering info
(different cognitive styles)
Also have preferences for approaching
learning & learning contexts (different
Perceptual Style: Field Dependence-
Field-dependent learners: perceive items,
events or info. They depend on the context
(field) to help them understand and perceive
Field-independent learners: perceive
individual items, events & info analytically, as
distinct & independent from the broader
What Is Your Perceptual Style?
The way you take in information
through your five senses and make
that information meaningful to you.
Basically, it acts as filters between
sensation and understanding.
Let’s Draw Your Attention!
Can you find a gargoyle, a key, a hat, five dwarves
and a fairy in this picture?
Deep & Surface Learning
Deep Learning Surface Learning
Definition • Learners with deep
approach to learn.
• Intrinsically motivated
• Make use of time
efficiently to study.
• Have extrinsic
• Use memorisation
strategies to learn
Learning Methodology • Use problem – solving
preferred ways of
thinking and learning
influence the types of
activities learners engage
in and value
Have a powerful effect on
and preferred cognitive
Learning Approaches In The Classroom
Students’ preferred cognitive and learning styles to classroom practices
The relationship between learner characteristics and the characteristics of the
Explanation of learning that views it as a self-regulated process that builds on
learners’ existing knowledge.
Focuses on individual learners and on how they construct their own knowledge,
beliefs and identity.
Acknowledges the role of social and cultural factors in shaping learning.
4 Key Principle of
2. Learners are self-
3. Social interaction is
necessary for effective
4. Encouraged to make
sense of information for
1. Learners are active
for students to
How To Stimulate Learner - Centred
Experiences & Activities
Problem solving with teacher
Problem solving without a
Providing Opportunities For
Students To Work Together
Benefits of Constructivism
learners as active
prior learning and
guidelines for educators
who want to encourage
student interaction and
group work in their
Disadvantages of Constructivism