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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Cognitive Learning Styles - What is it?

By Andrew Loh

.... "In simple words, cognition means thinking" - Psychology Today

Our brain is endowed with a series of abilities that help us think in a conscious manner. For example, working with a math problem, deciphering moves in a chess game or understanding a complex dramatic play is all due to the power of cognition. These activities may assume different forms like evaluating many sensory inputs, streamlining physical actions and reactions, thinking about others or sympathizing with them. Cognition in humans is almost similar to the working of a super computer where there is a furious processing of available information. Basic thoughts within human brains are as soft as our brains itself. However, we always think in a rational way with all action performed in combination with our emotions, internal drives and intrinsic motivations.

There are several definitions of cognition. Simply speaking, cognition is our ability to accumulate knowledge and information about the circumstances around us. Cognition is basic to all humans and it occurs as a mandatory brain development right when the baby takes its birth. This basic method continues to evolve as a system of learning for a child who could deploy the collection of information for making decisions. Cognition is a primary skill for a developing child.

There are different methods of collecting information and later processing it. There are different techniques of information collection. These could be observation, touching, hearing, feeling, smelling or sensing. Between children, cognitive learning is possible by recognizing, sequencing and remembering various knowledge and events as they unfold in their circumstances.

Cognition helps us to learn in a cognitive way. There are several cognitive learning theory definitions. In simple words, cognitive learning is the consequence of listening, watching, feeling, thinking, touching, experiencing or recognizing. Cognitive learning in humans is a superb system that gives us a channel of skills and knowledge, and it makes every person a special creation of his or her own without imitating one other. Another cognitive learning theory definition reads as follow - it is the gaining of knowledge and skills by using mental or cognitive processes as described above.

Cognitive learning occurs in many forms. These could be reading, singing, working, drawing, listening, watching, feeling, touching or even experiencing. These simple actions will lead to information gathering, processing and later remembering for further usage. Cognitive learning is invisible and passive. Cognition does not need any motor movement. However, it works in a superlative way. The learner will be very active and agile in processing the information and details available on the spur of the movement.

Cognitive learning strategies

Humans use several cognitive learning strategies to learn. Nature teaches cognitive strategies to them. In other words, someone must teach children to learn in a cognitive way. To teach it, the following skills are very important:


We often confuse with the terms - concentration and paying attention. No one needs to teach how to pay attention. It is a bodily function. It occurs in fact. In the nature, attention could be very fickle. In other words, attention always shifts from one object or subject to the other in a matter of few seconds. Here is where the power of concentration usually assumes importance. Children should be trained to stay focused on the object for a longer duration; here, focusing one's attention is an important guideline. When you children focus their attention for a longer duration, then we call it as concentration.

Concentration works in two ways:

  1. It is deliberate and acts on one's will and the action is not automatic.

  2. Someone must teach it to children


To learn something, one needs to percept issues that surround the topic. In other words, children should be aware of the topic under the study through one of the human senses. Senses could be either listening or hearing. Once the children perceive their senses, they should interpret to make a clear sense.

Perception works in two different ways:

  1. Children should be able to perceive and differentiate reality from falsehood.

  2. Once they differentiate truth from falsehood, they should learn to store the outcome in their brains.


There are several types of memories in humans. However, short and long-term memories are very important to children. Children in school perform better when they are proficient in short-term memory. On the other hand, long-term memories are like knowledge chest that holds important memory bytes for long time retrieval.

Logical thinking

Logical thinking is a sequential, measured and learned mental process. Consistent reasoning will help children come to a valid and definite conclusion. Logical thinking helps children learn math in a better way. Logical thinking can make children smarter and intelligent.

To develop logical thinking, your children should:

  1. Analyze important facts and conclusions from their brain and arrange them in a chain-like system that eventually buttresses thinking and learning process.

  2. Children should also learn things and lessons in a spatial manner that makes the learning process better organized.

Cognition is the basic building block of learning. Better cognition means better mental development. Better cognition is possible in children when parents help their children streamline all areas of thinking. Continue to read Different Cognitive Learning Strategies - Some Tips and Suggestions.


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