What’s the basis of being superior in the class? If your academic score is high – YOU ARE THE BEST! Why all of you are not of the same cognition level? What’s set the difference here?

What Are Learning Theories? Let’s have a flashback of our article “Learning Theories And Their Application To Classroom”. Read this article, as it has a detailed explanation of behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. 

Have you read that article before coming onto this blog? NO? You should have a read of it to understand cognitive learning theory in the classroom


an opened book and a hand adding bookmark


Before going into detail, let me remind you of your classroom. What’s the most common practice out there? Teachers ask you a question, you respond either correct or wrong. What happens next? REWARD or PUNISHMENT? Is that what matters? NO! Will you call it cognitive learning theory in the classroom

You are in the classroom not just to memorize the syllabus but to develop the concepts to use later in your career. 

Let’s suppose that you want to be a health practitioner in the future. If you are just determined to learn the syllabus and don’t want to critically learn the facts, will you be able to solve a patient case with comorbidities? You know the treatment of hypertension, and diabetes, but you don’t know how to manage a patient who has both and is presented with a stroke condition. What will you do? 

Obviously, you will get panic. It is because you never had concepts, you just memorized the management guidelines and passed the exams. You never had cognitive learning theory in the classroom! Moreover, you will not be able to remember most of the protocol elements because you memorized them for passing the exam only. Then what remained the benefit of attending school and university if you are not a good doctor? 

Here is where Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT) enters the picture, emphasizing people’s backgrounds and experiences rather than merely evaluating for accuracy.

This recent method of instruction can be used to train and retrain professionals in a variety of professions, not simply K–12 and college students. So, are you now more excited to learn cognitive learning theory in the classroom?


What is Cognitive Learning?


The goal of cognitive learning is to teach you the manner to use your brain to its fullest potential. Your ability to deepen your memory and processing knowledge is improved since it is simpler for you to link unique facts with early concepts.

Cognition is the capacity of the brain’s mental functions to take in and hold onto knowledge gained through experience, the senses, and thought.

How can cognitive learning theory be used in the classroom? Teachers require to expose students to education on cognitive learning theory in the classroom—an institute where students have good cognitive skills is probably more preferred.

Students who are well-prepared and actively involved can learn quickly and work extremely hard while managing several challenging activities without the aid of a supervisor.

Cognitive psychology is a relatively new area of psychology and concerns, assessing one’s internal processes. There is so much going on in your brain like thought processes, attention, learning, perceptions, and much more among others. 


cognitive learning theory in the classroom


Cognitive Learning Elements


Memorization is the primary goal of a traditional education rather than aiming to become an expert in a particular field.

Fundamental facets of cognitive learning theory in the classroom include the following:


  • Cognition

First, know the reason for joining a course for influential and practical cognitive learning. 


  • Recollection

The relatively unproductive practice of cramming material is discouraged in cognitive learning. Your capacity to link new knowledge with prior incidents or knowledge is enhanced by having a comprehensive understanding of a subject.


  • Implementation

You can use newly learned knowledge or abilities in practical settings by using cognitive learning methodologies. These methodologies help individuals as they work to improve their problem-solving capabilities.


What is Cognitive Learning Theory?


CLT came into existence if 1936, and it considers more factors than merely whether a learner is correct or incorrect while solving a problem. Rather, it examines a student’s reasoning process and prior experiences to determine how and why they were able to respond to a question.

Cognitive processes include activities like paying attention, observing, retrieving information from long-term memory, and categorizing knowledge. If these are compromised, the learning process will also slow down.

This idea has benefited greatly from the contributions of numerous researchers. Jerome Bruner concentrated on the connections between teaching and mental processes.

Jean Piaget acknowledged the importance of the environment and concentrated on changes that occur within the internal cognitive structure. So, cognitive learning theory in the classroom holds importance. 

In accordance with the CLT, learning is more actively encouraged, and answers are assessed for more than just correctness. The basis of this theory is a concept known as “metacognition,” which is essentially merely the act of reflecting on one’s own thought processes. Therefore, if a teacher were to implement cognitive learning theory in the classroom, they would look at how students arrived at their answers rather than just assessing whether they were correct or incorrect.

Why is cognitive learning theory important to a teacher? The answer is simple! It takes into account the fact that every person has a unique perspective based on their own recollections, experiences, and pertinent past understanding. eLearning and professional training for SMBs and enterprises in all kinds of sectors can be improved by having a better understanding of how people think differently.



Benefits of Cognitive Learning


When you introduce cognitive learning theory to the classroom, you can achieve the following benefits;


  • Cognitive learning improves the learning process. 

The principle of cognitive learning promotes lifelong learning. Students can expand on prior thoughts and integrate fresh ideas with their existing knowledge.


  • It boosts the confidence of students.

As students get a more in-depth understanding of new subjects and pick up new skills, they grow more assured when approaching assignments.


  • It improves comprehension skills.

Learners that participate in cognitive learning are better able to understand new knowledge. They can comprehend new educational content more thoroughly.


  • It enhances problem-solving skills in students.

Students are given the skills they require to learn effectively through cognitive learning. As a result, kids can learn problem-solving techniques that they can use when faced with difficult assignments.


  • It helps students learn new knowledge quickly. 

The students will be able to reuse and apply the same learning strategies they previously used thanks to their learning experience. As a result, individuals will pick up new information much more quickly because they already know what methods work best for them.


  • It helps to teach form concept formation.

Additionally, cognitive learning can help your staff members develop a variety of concepts, such as the ability to perceive and analyze information quickly, which could foster innovation and creativity at work.


Different Cognitive Learning Strategies


There are different types of approaches to Cognitive Learning Theory defined by psychologists. If you are really curious about how to apply these to K-12 and college classrooms, then keep reading. It is very important to discuss these approaches when talking about cognitive learning theory in the classroom.


  • Personalized Learning Approach


A Swiss psychologist named Jean Piaget initially came up with this method of learning in 1936 after studying youngsters and concluding that each person makes mistakes differently depending on the experiences and actions they have had in the world.

Piaget divided his cognitive learning theory into 4 distinct phases of cognitive development depending on age. After detailed testing, he came to the conclusion that even when the same subject is taught in the same manner, no two people learn the same way!

Cognitive development is the main focus of using a tailored learning technique for teaching students and trainees. 


a classroom, one teacher and one student learning


Suppose that your institute mandate creative projects for students entering O & A levels in their first term. By requiring everyone to complete the project under your or another person you assign’s supervision in an organized manner before turning it in, you could help students take these assignments seriously. Additionally, you may set up a video chat to direct them through each stage. 

In this manner, students actively communicate with the supervisor and the team to learn about the importance of the assignment and how it can be performed rather than simply finishing the project by duplicating other ideas.

The premise of cognitive learning theory in the classroom is that each student has their own unique way of understanding the environment. Similar to this, consider job training sessions – some might be required to complete training while others may only be doing it to satisfy a craze. Regardless of the situation, by even partially incorporating this principle into your classrooms, you could significantly improve learning and training. Here’s what you can do;


  • Before starting the course, asks the students some conceptual questions to assess their background knowledge on the subject. Based on the results, you can personalize learning experiences. 
  • You can host webinars or training sessions with individual students who lack interest and knowledge and let them discuss their issues freely. 
  • Use discussion boards in a class to promote cooperation and a range of points of view.
  • To swiftly clarify or draw away the misconceptions in a self-paced training program, speak with the students personally.


  • Bloom’s Taxonomy


Bloom’s taxonomy named after Benjamin Bloom defines cognitive learning in six different categories. 

This method of learning is knowledge-based, and it starts by examining what a learner recalls about a subject (knowledge). Then, at the most advanced level, students’ grades are determined by how well they can use this knowledge, assess what they have just learned, and produce new information. Bloom’s Taxonomy frames learning in a manner that goes beyond a student’s exam scores, much like Piaget’s research.


6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Remembering: What specific details, fundamental ideas, and general information does a learner memorize? The mere fact that a student can recall facts and ideas does not imply that they have a thorough understanding of the subject.
  • Understanding: Being able to understand and interpret information. Also, able to accurately summarise knowledge and impart it to others.
  • Applying: Introducing advanced knowledge to a preexisting issue. For instance, if one of your employees is observed bullying a coworker, several team members who have just completed a required diversity training will immediately notify senior management.
  • Analyzing: To compare how each component of fundamental knowledge connects to the others, it is necessary to split it down into smaller pieces. Moreover, examining a problem’s causes and solutions and connecting them to a theory.
  • Evaluating: Ability to assess the accuracy of thoughts and work that are based on recently learned information.
  • Creating: Creating and developing fresh knowledge and concepts. Say, for illustration, that your company provides restaurants with food and safety training. After taking one of your training sessions, one of your new clients chooses to change the guidelines for how long their restaurant kitchen will retain leftover items.

When applying cognitive learning theory in the classroom, the amount of cognitive learning needed for an academic session to be successful will vary based on the course and students (Grades – K to 12) being trained.

For instance, if you are onboarding kindergarten students, they should be in a fine position once they have mastered the fundamentals and know how to put them to use.

Students in higher grades and at colleges will need to comprehend deeper levels of cognitive learning because managing and leading people calls for analysis, evaluation, and autonomy in decision-making in career life.


Cognitive Learning Theory Examples


Now you have a clear idea of what cognitive learning means. The following are various examples of cognitive learning theory in the classroom.


a pile of books and a boy hiding head behind it


  • Explicit Learning

It takes place when you set out to learn something new, perhaps a procedure or talent that is essential to your line of work. You must pay attention and respond in order to learn.

Taking a thorough course in radiology to become familiar with X-ray features and be able to employ them effectively being a radiologist assistant would be an illustration of direct learning.


  • Implicit Learning

You can occasionally pick up new information and skills passively. Implicit learning occurs when you are not conscious of any of the steps until you become aware that you have learned something new.

One good example of implicit learning that develops over time is typing quickly and without looking at the keyboard.


  • Discovery Learning

It takes place when you proactively seek out new information by reading up on related concepts, procedures, and topics.

A person might learn about the characteristics and capabilities of a tool through discovery, for instance, if they are assigned the responsibility of proofreading a certain report and must use a particular application, such as Ginger.


  • Non-Associative Learning 

It is a sort of learning that lets people get used to something by repeatedly encountering it.

The early days are annoying when you start a new work in a factory where there is plenty of machinery creating noise, but you eventually learn to put up with it. We call this habituation.

Sensitization is the opposite when your reaction to something gets worse as you are exposed to it more frequently.

This kind of education takes place in everyday life and in the workplace. Being a student trains you to be more receptive to projects and another daily hectic study routine.


  • Emotional Learning

Gaining emotional intelligence is essential for maintaining cordial friendships with people at work and in other aspects of our lives.

Individuals can learn to control their emotions and comprehend those of others by engaging in emotional learning.

In order to treat teachers and supervisors with respect, a student needs to be able to control their emotions.


  • Experiential Learning

Our greatest lessons in life come from our experiences – and this is so true!

You learn valuable life lessons from the people you interact with on a daily basis. How you perceive it will determine what you learn.

For instance, an intern can learn by observing a senior employer with experience to obtain experience. He gains new expertise applicable to his line of work.

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Сognitive Learning Theories


Cognitive Learning Theory is fractioned into 2 main theories other than the cognitive learning theory by Plato;

  1. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT)

Let’s discuss what are these theories and how they impact learning. 



This concept aids in our comprehension of human influence over both the environment and other people.

Learning based on observation is a key aspect of social cognitive theory. Through observation, one can learn about the desirable and bad behaviors of others.

When you act on your own, it serves as a speedy way to gather information. A model is someone who sets an example of behavior for another person.

These could be symbolic models, also known as fictitious characters that affect an observer’s behavior, or they could be real individuals, like our instructors, peers, and bosses.

People learn both positive and harmful attitudes through observation. For instance, a manager in a firm can instruct staff members on the way to communicate with and deal with nasty customers in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Additionally, the management can train his/her staff on the various actions they can take in fire incidents or other low-probability hazardous situations.



CBT primarily discusses our thought processes and how we interpret the events of our lives. it can also be discussed in the context of cognitive learning theory in the classroom.

It explains the relationships between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Certain emotions are triggered by thoughts, and those feelings in turn trigger particular behavioral reactions.

We may modify our thoughts to modify our feelings, which in turn modifies our behavior. It also happens the other way around, where modifying our behavior causes changes to our emotions and, eventually, our ideas.

Consider the scenario of an IT student who runs into an issue in a specific area and immediately assumes the task will be challenging. The worker will almost certainly do poorly because of his anticipated bad attitude about this particular assignment.


Take Away!

Are you now clear about applying cognitive learning theory in the classroom? If still, something is missing, leave the query in the comment section.  This article also explained what is cognitive learning theory in education


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