Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

Cognitivism

GENERAL LEARNING THEORY

The cognitive revolution, which reframed questions of learning as problems of information processing, is often dated to a 1956 MIT symposium on information theory including pioneering work on logic machines (Newell & Simon), memory (Miller) and Universal Grammar (Chomsky), or to Broadbent's groundbreaking 1958 model of attention.

Cognitivism sees the learner as a machine which processes input or data within the limits of its processing capacity according to fixed rules or operations; learning is deduced from the machine's output. Processing models vary in the role accorded to innate versus learned properties and automatic versus controlled processes (Shiffrin & Schneider) or implicit versus explicit learning (connectionism, Rumelhart).

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