Cognitive Learning- Strategies to Learn Effectively

Cognitive Learning- Strategies to Learn Effectively

What is Cognitive Learning?

Cognitive learning is a process of thinking, analyzing, interpreting and understanding to remember information in order to learn from it. 

Humans can remember extreme emotion, repeated actions and relational information for a longer period of time, although we can’t make extreme emotion out of everything we encounter, we can make relational with already stored information inside our brain.

Cognitive skills include attention, perception, memory, processing, visualization, reasoning and mobility; we can learn effectively and remember information by utilizing all these parameters.

The cognitive theory of learning is divided into two sections, Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT); SCT explains how human learn based on personal, behavioral and environmental factors. 

On the other hand, CBT explains how human learn based on personal cognitive behavior or abilities.

You may want to know, what are the best possible ways to develop effective cognitive learning abilities? 

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development explains how cognitive functionality is developed in children; however, for most of the people, the crucial “Formal Operational Stage” (starts to develop after reaching 11 yearsfails to develop.

You can improve or develop the crucial “Formal Operational Stage”  for effective cognitive learning through constant practice of Attentiveness, mindfulness, and practice of deductive thinking or reasoning.

Read, reflect and understand the strategies explained below;

What is the Cognitive Learning Strategies?

Cognitive learning is a process of thinking to learn; cognitive learning strategies are used to learn effectively, solve problems, analyze situations or complete a task. 

The type of learning may be subconscious or conscious. Here are a few tips worth to know,

Thinking About The Thinking

Metacognition is the process of thinking about thinking; it is a process of self-reflection. For example, when you are thinking about cognitive skills, you may also think about cognitive learning based on cognitive skills.

Pay Attention

Attention is can be of sustained, selective or divided. Sustained attention is the ability to concentrate on a particular object or thought for a longer time, and for effective learning, attention should be sustained.

Apply Logic & Reasoning

Logic & reasoning can be inductive or deductive, however, most have people fail to apply deductive reasoning. We learn when extrinsic or intrinsic factors stimulate our cognitive process through thoughts or sensory organs. 

Logic & reasoning processes help to assimilate or accommodate information in cognitive maps and filter out unnecessary information.

Effective remembering

Humans can remember extreme emotion, divergent information, relational information and repeated actions for a longer period of time. 

The best way to remember is to think about how to manifest the information in the forms mentioned above.

Let’s take an example of how people learn based on the efficiency of cognitive


Consider the below quote,

“Never reply when you’re angry; never make a promise when you are happy”

If we consider three stages of cognitive learning effectiveness, let’s check how people think to learn the quote based on the efficiency of cognition,

  • Stage One: At this stage, the learner will think “Yes, I should not reply when I’m angry, and I should never make promises when I am happy. I have to remember this quote.” The learner will try to repeat the quote to remember and learn.
  • Stage Two: This stage is far better than the stage one, the learner understands that he or she had made many mistakes in life because he never followed the above quote and so the learner will think, “Yes, I have made many mistakes in anger or happiness, I have to follow the quote. But how can I recall this quote in the time of anger or happiness? I have to implement this quote in my life.” Then the learner will look for a solution, how he or she can implement the idea at the time of anger or happiness. Probably he or she will make a wallpaper of the quote on his/her smartphone to remind at the time of happening i.e. through repeated actions he/she will try to learn or remember.
  • Stage Three: The learner will deduce the statement to find a conclusion from it, development of the crucial “formal operational stage” of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development plays a crucial role in this type of learning,  the learner will think, “As the quote suggests, why we should not take action at the time of anger or happiness? Is this due to the imbalance of mental activities? Yes, I was unable to analyze the scenarios or consequences of an action. When the last time I did the mistake? What was my fault? Yes, I have taken actions when my mind was of out of control.” By thinking like this, the learner will relate the quote with his/her past experience or extreme emotion of past; and the learner will visualize and create a situation of doing these mistakes in his/her mind.

Do you know why the learner at stage three deduced & visualized extreme emotion related to the past? As already mentioned, human remembers extreme emotion, relational information, and repeated actions for a longer period of time. 

You probably remember only a few extreme emotions of your childhood, rest you forgot; try to remember your childhood incidents, find out is it true or not.


Without developing cognitive skills, children or adult find difficulties while integrating new information with the already stored information. 

Most of the students don’t remember what they have learned in the last semester, we have to agree that nobody can remember all the information, but we must have the understanding to remember summery of learning.

Our education system is focusing on developing well-filled mind; most of the school examination is all about how much data you can remember. 

As a consequence of this pattern of evaluation, students move on to the next grade before they have mastered the basic academic skills like reading, writing or abstract thinking.

Cognitive skills are the most important skill for employability, employability in a job profile and a sector is defined by theoretical understanding and empirical validation of knowledge, cognitive skill, and domain expertise. 

Indian newspaper Times of India and IUCEE, one of the engineering education think tanks reported that un-employability among engineering graduates and educated youth is rising due to lack of cognitive skills and communication skills. 

But we have to understand the fact that our words are the manifestation of our thoughts, and if we can’t think or understand i.e. we don’t have effective cognitive skills, how anyone can communicate effectively.

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