Cognitive Theories Glossary

1. Information processing theory:  Cognitive theory that focuses on how people think about the information they receive from the environment – how they perceive the stimuli around them, how they “put” what they’ve perceived into their memories, how they “find” what they’ve learned when they need to use it and so on. 

2. Constructivism: Perspective that states that learners actively try to organize and make sense of information that encounter often in idiosyncratic, unique ways. The perspective that the process of constructivism is occurring separately within each learner is known as individual constructivism. Social constructivism is the perspective that encompasses theories that focus on how people work together to create new knowledge, at one sitting or over a long time.

3. Contextual theories: Emphasis on the importance of the immediate physical and social environment – the context- as it affects cognition and learning. This theory suggest that learners often think and perform more intelligently and effectively when they can draw on a variety of environmental support systems that enable them to make sense of news situations and help them tackle challenging., tasks and problems.

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