Cognitive Science of Teaching & Learning

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Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning is my fourth online graduate program course, at Post University. In this course I am learning about the implications of cognitive science research on acquisition of knowledge theory and how cognitive principals affect teaching and learning. Already, this course has enlightened my concept and understanding of the human brain.

So far, I’ve been learning about artificial intelligence, which is fascinating and quickly becoming a reality, to the differences between the way an adult learns (andragogy) and a child learns (pedagogy). As well as the various mental representations of logic, rules, concepts, analogies, images, and problem solving, which are used to understand how the brain works cognitively. In combination with how the brain works, is the more scientific side which pertains to the synapses and neural pathways or connections and the brain’s ability to store and process data, which has led the class into the various learning style theories.

The three most important implications of cognitive science that I have learned so far, which affect my college’s setting are: Andragogy – teaching to adults, Cognitive process of problem solving and the connection between learning styles and brain processing/neural synapses (brain vs. mind).

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From my interpretation of the different cognitive levels of learning it doesn’t appear that the child or adult differ entirely cognitively, but more chronologically. An infant and adult will process information and learn in the same “way” but as humans their goals for learning are different. In both cases, children and adults are processing information for learning purposes and both are indeed “interactive” learners. However, the motivation may be different, which may or may not affect the levels of learning. Malcolm Knowles, the father of andragogy proposed five factors involved in adult learning: (Knowles, n.d). Here’s a link the Knowles’ andragogy website:

Additionally, learning styles have a huge impact on how the brain cognitively processes and stores information. Use this link to the Learning Style Questionnaire to find out your style: “Learning is about creating and strengthening pathways thru these neurons for impulses of electricity but between each connection is a synapse. To learn something new the electrical signal has to jump across a gap to continue its journey” (Rogers, R. 2010). Understanding the various learning styles, helps educators adapt their curriculum, lecture and class activities to their student’s learning style, which can ideally help the students succeed academically. Adapting teaching methods for the learning styles or instituting learning group can result in positive outcomes as well.

Collaborative and Cooperative Learning groups have proven successful in all levels of education. “Group work is used as a means for learning at all levels in educational systems. There is strong scientific support for the benefits of having students learning and working in groups” (Hammar-Chiriac, E. 2014). The link provided below gives specific instructions on how to make it work in a classroom. Isn’t that the point of education? To enable our students, as best we can with our ability, so they can learn to the best of their ability?

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Here are some links worth checking out:

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

IBM Watson: The Science Behind an Answer

Collaborative Learning in a Classroom



Cornell University, (2014). Collaborative Learning: Group Work. Retrieved from

Felder, R.& Soloman, B. (n.d.). Learning Styles and Strategies. Retrieved from

Hammar-Chiriac, E. (2014) Group Work as an Incentive for Learning: Students’ Experiences of Group Work. Frontiers in Psychology. Vol. 5 p. 1-18. 19p

IBM (2011, July 18). IBM Watson: The Science Behind an Answer [Video File]. Retrievedfrom

Knowles, M. (n.d.) Instructional design andragogy. Retrieved from

PBSoffbook. (2013, July 11). The rise of artificial intelligence [Video File]. Retrieved from

Rogers, R. (2010). How We Learn – Synapses and Neural Pathways. Retrieved from

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