What are the essential skills and/or learning outcomes you want your students to know and be able to do that relate to cognitive learning?
How might your knowledge of the memory processes guide your instructional decisions?
I have spent quite a bit of time researching cognitive development and what children need to succeed and grow as individuals. I found a book that really exemplifies how I feel. I feel that each child has a uniquely different learning experience. As educators, it is important that we not lump all children into the same category and expect them to learn at the same rate and in the same manner. The book I found, titled "Play= Learning", gave me great insight into the importance of individuality both inside and outside of the classroom. Excerpted here: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9EaIvUQziRgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=children%27s+cognitive+learning&ots=Q8IiYoqQY1&sig=7cJ2XtX6FM9Tb_MYG_j9Ke32d1M, the book makes a reference to the novel "A Wrinkle in Time"stating that children are being programmed to parrot answers and knowledge without actually understanding it. The essence of "play" is that it gives children an outlet to de-stress, to have completely unstructured existence where they can practice their own creativity and apply their classroom skills to the real world. I found the above book to be very interesting and informative and showed me the importance of allowing kids to express themselves in and out of the classroom.
I think the most important aspect of memory and learning is creating material that has significance and importance to the students. They need to be able to relate to the material being taught. I feel it is most important that the students have a personal relationship with the material. I think as a teacher I will spend most of my time teaching material that is fun and relatable to both what the students are currently learning in their other classrooms and to their lives. Fun and play and creativity are importance aspects of the learning process that I see get put on the back burner all too often. With new schools standards and standardized testing, students are parroting what they are learning in the classroom, without really understanding it. Unless the material is taken out of context and applied to real life situations, the students will surely forget. School should be fun!