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What are the advantages and disadvantages of The Cognitive view of education?

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The Cognitive Perspective in education stands in contrast to other perspectives such as the Behavioral perspective, the Developmental perspective and the Constructivist perspective. While the cognitive perspective plays a role in most other perspectives because it is recognized we are cognitive beings, other perspectives have unique emphases that set them apart from each other and from the cognitive perspective.

The cognitive perspective holds that learning occurs through cognitive memory structures located in the brain. These memory structures perceive, process, store for short- or long-term recall and retrieve information. this perspective acknowledges cause and effect links between learning and other cognitive processes like memory, motivation, personality and beliefs. this perspective supports problem solving schema models of learning and delayed second reading approaches to new material.

One disadvantage of the cognitive perspective is that there is consideration of learning styles as learning is thought to progress either verbally or visually and often through a combination of the two, according to dual-load theory. An advantage of the cognitive perspective is that explicit learning of high-level cognitive skills is easily approached and assessed.

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One attractive aspect of the cognitive view of education is that it naturally works well with students who are English Language Learners (ELLs).  In the SIOP model (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol), learners are encouraged to complement their learning of the academic material along with their language acquisition by building on previous knowledge.  'Building Background' is the second step in this process which helps the learner connect new knowledge or experiences with previous experiences or knowledge. 

The cognitive view of education works much in the same way, enabling students to process more difficult concepts or applications through building on a strong foundation.  Through the cognitive model, the students then learn through a variety of new experiences, but a key aspect is that during those learning experiences they use their previous knowleddge to help them anticipate the outcome or make inferences on what may happen next.  A key advantage is that this approach may feels more individualized or personal to the students, who all come with their own backgrounds and knowledge. 

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Another, significant disadvantage of this particular educational theory is that it is extremely time intensive on the part of the educator.  Since the majority of the activities are dictated by each student’s individual level of progress, the educator or facilitator is investing a huge amount of time and effort on a per student basis.

This makes the large scale implementation of this type of system problematic at best.  Generally, it is best reserved for use in accelerated or honors classes; environments in which the students can be relied upon to not only track and measure their own progress, but to  assist in the creation of assignments as well. 

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The word "cognitive" refers to the process of thinking, solving problems, learning, and remembering. By definition, therefore, education must be viewed as a cognitive activity.

A cognitive view or approach to the process of education would be one that presents multiple experiences through which students can discover and integrate information through direct involvement. The experiences provided to a given student change in response to the child's previous experiences, supporting more advanced levels of involvement and more complicated concepts as the child's prior knowledge allows.

The advantage of such an approach is that it focuses on the individual student and his/her learning process and progress. If a student encounters difficulty in understanding and mastering a certain process or concept, additional supportive experiences are immediately designed and provided to assist the child in achieving comprehension. Ideally, the student would master that level before moving on to the next level of cognitive development.

The disadvantage of the above approach to education is that it involves very frequent assessment of the student's learning and retention, since new experiences build directly upon previous ones. The teacher needs to be constantly evaluating the needs of the student and designing learning activities that address the evolving educational needs and stages of the student. This can become a challenge, entailing a great deal of time, effort, recordkeeping, and flexibility in adjusting lesson plans.

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The cognitive view of learning suggests that information is gathered and processed by our brain.

An advantage of the cognitive view of learning is that it is easy for people to understand and appreciate, because we are used to thinking of the brain as a computer.

Information processing is a cognitive view of learning that compares human thinking to the way computers process information.

This way of looking at information makes sense to most people.  Another benefit is that teachers can organize activities that will help students learn.

[The] constructivist view empowers students to follow their own interests and make the connections necessary to form new ideas. (

This means that students benefit because learning will be fun, but they will also be learning more because teaching is designed to enhance learning.

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