Focus on Cognitivism

This week’s focus on cognitivism has been helpful in understanding cognitive learning theories and how they relate to classroom strategies and technology tools. After reviewing two strategies from Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, I was able to evaluate the correlation between the strategies and the cognitive learning theory. The two selected strategies were Cues, Questions and Advance Organizers and Summarizing and Note Taking. These strategies can be very useful in the classroom and helpful to learners. Knowing the connection to cognitivism will help educators to understand why these strategies can help students and allow the teacher to better implement the strategy.

The first strategy, Cues, Question and Advance Organizers is about using cues and questions to pull higher level thinking with students. Using high level questions within a lesson will create deeper learning and make the creation of organizers more focused. Using organizers to arrange information makes it easier for the learner and relates to the Network Model of memory as described by Dr. Orey (Laureate Education, 2010) in the components of cognitive learning theory. This will help students to make sensible connections with pieces of information, as well as the potential to have images linked to text which follows Palvlo’s Duel Coding hypothesis that students can remember information better when it is presented in a way that is more than only text (Laureate Education, 2010). My experience has shown that this strategy does connect closely with cognitivism because students are able to have a visual for the connects which helps them to think about the information and is more likely to become a part of long term memory.

The second strategy, Summarizing and Note Taking is about teaching students how to effectively look at and pull the most important information in order to summarize a group of information, as well as giving students useful ways to take notes so that the notes are beneficial to student learning and allows the student to remember what he/she has learned. Teachers should give students rules to go by when summarizing and note taking. Giving students templates to organize notes and summarize information can be a useful tool that is also visual. This can also relate to the Network Model of memory. Most importantly, this strategy will help students with information processing. Students will be more likely to remember summarized notes and information, rather than notes taken verbatim. This connects directly to cognitivism because teachers need to lead students in a way that students can move through the three stages (sensory input, short term memory, long term memory) and store information in a network in long term memory. While my kindergarten students may not need to take notes, there are many times in the classroom that I as the teacher am modeling note taking strategies within whole group lessons. This will not only help students to see correct note taking, but it will help students to remember the information and store it in long term memory if I am correctly organizing the notes and using note taking organizers so that information is visually pleasing for my students.

After making the connections to these strategies and cognitive learning theories, I will be able to brainstorm new ways to use this in my classroom so that my students are able to better understand and remember the information being taught. Using the technology tools and organizers are an effective way to implement these strategies so that my students are able to best process the information.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Bridging learning theory, instruction, and technology [Webcast]. Cognitive Learning Theories. Baltimore: Executive Producer.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology With Classroom Instruction That Works. Denver, CO: ASCD


About Nicole

Hello! My name is Nicole deMoll. I am a kindergarden teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. I started this blog as part of my graduate studies in education. I am dedicated to learning more about integrating technology into the classroom. I love teaching kindergarten and I hope to be able to share a lot throughout my adventures!
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4 Responses to Focus on Cognitivism

  1. Hi Mollie,

    You made such a valid point about when it comes to information processing and the learning process by suggesting the importance of students summarizing notes and information so that only the necessary information would be stored based on their own organization. Rather than trying to regurgitate verbatim information, students will be able to retrieve concepts and parts of content stored in the long-term memory and connect it to the working memory in a more meaningful way. Using technology in this process is also useful. Advanced organizers such as Inspiration, Word and Multimedia such as PowerPoint can help students to organize their work because organization is an essential part in the summarizing and note taking process.

    Can you imagine how our time at university or college would have been if we had these strategies and tools available in these forms? For me, it would have totally transformed how I processed loads of information and studied for exams.

    Alicia Castillo-Timothy

  2. Kelley Straight says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I just want to start by saying that you made very valid connections with the two strategies and cognitive learning theories. I agree that using organizers will benefit the students in many ways. I do not always use images in my lessons, which is a downfall of mine. I do believe that this will definitely make the connections that you mention.
    As far as note taking, I do not believe that I ever learned how to take notes that would benefit my information processing. I remember simply copying notes directly from the blackboard without making any meaningful connections while doing so. You make a very valid point that the notes should be visually pleasing to the students. This would have definitely helped me in my past courses.
    I admit that I definitely need to incorporate these strategies in my classroom more often. I enjoyed reading your post!!


  3. Mike Ballard says:

    I really enjoyed your take on the first strategy of Cues, Questions and Advance Organizers. I really like how you talked about how adding relevant picture to some organizers can only strengthen the connections to the material the students are learning. I also agree with your statement on how questioning can heighten the state of learning students are in, but sometimes I note that my students are not quite at the level where they can make total sense of topics in order to ask the questions they need. I was wondering how you work this problem out in your classroom, so that your lower level students can still be able to participate, and be able to connect to the material well enough to ask deeper questions.

  4. Mary Jones says:

    I love the fact that you are modeling the note taking process and how to organize information for your young students. You are providing them with a great foundation for a skill that is hard to master. I wonder if you might be able to incorporate the advance organizers or concept mapping by providing them with a pile of cutout pictures that relate to your topics. The students could find a picture that they feel matches the topic you are discussing and place it on the paper in the correct spot on a template. You might extend the lesson later on by having the student add one word captions to their notes as they expand their written vocabulary. It has been a while since I’ve worked with extremely little people so I don’t know if this is age appropriate but thought it was worth suggesting.

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