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Cognitive Learning Theory. GLSIS 790.3 Danielle M. Walsh. Cognitivism Defined. Cognition can be defined as "the act or process of knowing in the broadest sense; specifically, an intellectual process by which knowledge is gained from perception or ideas" (Webster's Dictionary).

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Cognitive learning theory

Cognitive Learning Theory

GLSIS 790.3

Danielle M. Walsh

Cognitivism defined
Cognitivism Defined

Cognition can be defined as "the act or process of knowing in the broadest sense; specifically, an intellectual process by which knowledge is gained from perception or ideas" (Webster's Dictionary).

Cognition-act or process of knowing. Cognition includes attention, perception, memory, reasoning, judgment, imagining, thinking, and speech. Attempts to explain the way in which cognition works are as old as philosophy itself; the term, in fact, comes from the writings of Plato and Aristotle. With the advent of psychology as a discipline separate from philosophy, cognition has been investigated from several viewpoints. (Cognition," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2006

Theorists of cognitivism
Theorists of Cognitivism

Robert Gagné

David Ausubel

Jerome Bruner

Cognitivism and educational technology library instruction
Cognitivism and Educational Technology & Library Instruction

Cognitivism and information services
Cognitivism and Information Services

Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn. Learning needs and theories that describe learning principles and processes, should be reflective of underlying social environments. Vaill emphasizes that “learning must be a way of being – an ongoing set of attitudes and actions by individuals and groups that they employ to try to keep abreast o the surprising, novel, messy, obtrusive, recurring events…”( Vaill, 1996)


Robert gagn
Robert Gagné

Robert Gagné is best known for his Nine Events of Instruction.  He was born in 1916 in North Andover, Massachusetts.  In 1937, he earned his A.B. from Yale University.  After receiving his Ph.D. from Brown University in psychology in 1940, he taught at Connecticut College for Women and Pennsylvania State University. 

David ausubel
David Ausubel

David Ausubel (1918 - ) American psychologist born in New York, studied at the N.Y.U., follower of Jean Piaget. One of his biggest contributions to the field of psychology and learning was the development and research on advance organizers.

Jerome bruner
Jerome Bruner

Jerome Bruner was born October 1, 1915 in New York City. Bruner received his A.B. from Duke University in 1937 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1941. He was formally a professor of Psychology at Harvard University (1952-1972) and Oxford (1972-1980). Currently he is at the the New York University of Law. In 1960, he wrote The Process of Education, which emphasizes curriculum innovation grounded in theories of cognitive development.

Bruner asserts that learning is an active process in which students construct new ideas or concepts based on their current knowledge.


American Library Association. 1989. American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report. Chicago: American Library Association.

Bruner, J. (1996). The Culture of Education, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Driscoll, M. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Needham Heights, MA, Allyn & Bacon.

Gagne, Robert. 1985. The conditions of learning. 4th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Gonzalez, C., (2004). The Role of Blended Learning in the World of Technology. Retrieved July 16, 2006 from

Killpatrick, L. (2001). Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction. In  B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Retrieved July 16, 2006, from

Vaill, P. B., (1996). Learning as a Way of Being. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Blass Inc.