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Cognitive View of Learning

  • By: Claire Ellen Weinstein & Taylor W. Acee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
  • Edited by: Neil J. Salkind
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), Educational Psychology, School Psychology

Cognition refers to thinking and the mental processes humans use to solve problems, make decisions, understand new information or experiences, and learn new things. Cognitive views of learning focus on cognitive variables affecting learning—what goes on in people's minds before, during, and after learning. For example, when students are preparing to read a textbook chapter, they might think about what types of learning strategies they want to use to learn the important material in the chapter. They might decide to take notes and organize the material as they are reading, or to paraphrase each section as they read to see if they understood the material. Thinking about what learning strategies to use before starting to read may help students to read and learn more effectively. ...

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