Cognitive learning is an important component of knowledge acquisition. This is the kind of learning that helps us to find connections in the world while expanding on what we already know.
When we want to know what knowledge and learning are, we need to go into the right field of study. Here, we must turn to epistemology, a discipline of philosophy.
The study of the nature and extent of knowledge and justified belief is known as epistemology. The creation of knowledge is the subject of epistemology.
But what causes knowledge to be created in the first place? What can we do to stimulate cognitive learning so that we can enhance our knowledge and see changes in our brain?
The short answer is that we must learn to think, but that is not enough. We must learn to reflect on our own thoughts. This is when cognitive learning kicks in.
The mental action or process of obtaining information and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses is known as cognition (thinking).
Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is the recognition and comprehension of one’s own mental or cognitive processes.
We may begin to grasp how information is obtained, stored, and enhanced by studying cognition and metacognition.
We must learn to think in order to produce knowledge. If we follow Derek and Laura Cabrera’s guidance, we’ll discover that Information + Thinking Equals Knowledge.
How does the cognitive learning theory help us build knowledge? Let’s look at Steve Stockdale’s analogy for knowledge production in Here’s Something About General Semantics: A Primer for Making Sense of Your World. In terms of knowledge building, Stockdale contrasts the “Building Block” and “Spiral” analogies.
Building Blocks Analogy
“We often grow up with a notion of learning using the building blocks analogy,” Stockdale says.
We perform the following here:
- We see that things are divided and segmented.
- Our alphabet is taught as a block of stacked letters.
- We learn our numbers in groups of ten.
- Visualizing blocks of letters helps us learn to spell.
“However, if we apply what we ‘know’ about what goes on around us, we can choose to use a more appropriate analogy: we tend to learn in more of a spiral pattern than simple building blocks.”
The circular aspect of the learning process is described by Stockdale as follows:
- Our learning is continuous and never-ending, much like the spiral expands from the centre.
- As we gain knowledge about one subject, we are able to get knowledge about another subject from a new viewpoint.
- Just as the spiral links, or relates, one region to another, what we learn relates to what we’ve previously learned and what we’ve yet to learn.
- The spiral more accurately represents the ever-changing and more complicated nature of ourselves and our environment.
The Benefits of Cognitive Learning
We may begin to comprehend the benefits of cognitive learning techniques and the opportunities they provide if we think of cognitive learning as a never-ending spiral.
1. Increased Comprehension
Cognitive learning encourages people to learn by doing, allowing them to explore the world around them. It is simpler to apply this information to future difficulties in your daily life because it was gained in this manner.
2. Boosts Confidence
You will feel more confidence in your skills to conquer challenging tasks or times in life because you will be better equipped to manage difficulties and solve issues through cognitive learning. You will continue to study and expand on your prior knowledge by solving problems utilising the knowledge you have gained.
3. Promotes Lifelong Learning
Because of the above-mentioned spiral, cognitive learning never comes to an end. Each piece of data is added to the one before it, widening the spiral and improving your entire knowledge base. It generates a feeling of enthusiasm surrounding studying when you realise your infinite capacity for information.
Obtaining cognitive learning advantages is similar to saving data on a computer’s hard drive (your brain). The brain’s capacity to offer rapid access to the information it stores is the next stage. The information is stored on the hard drive, but you must connect and speed up your processing power by thinking. As a result, Knowledge = Information x Thinking.
You may increase your comprehension of any topic by knowing how you think and learn.
You wouldn’t use a 1940 map to navigate across a nation, and you shouldn’t use a dated mental map to enhance your learning capacity either. Alternatively, you may utilise your newly acquired information to create your own map and develop from there.