Tag Archives: cognitive psychology

Cognitive Psychology & Curriculum

Cognitive psychology is about how people learn and organize knowledge. The focus of cognitive psychologist is on the structure of the mind and the two types of memories, short-term and long-term memory.

There are many prominent educators who leaned toward cognitive psychology in their view of teaching. Montessori believed that struggling students lack intellectual stimulation. Piaget created a framework for cognitive development. More modern examples include¬†Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences.

Whenever teachers adjust the curriculum to the intellectual development of the students this is due in part to the work of cognitive psychology. The most famous and practical example of this would be Bruner’s spiral curriculum. Students are exposed to the same themes and ideas but at varying levels of complexity over time. This sequencing of the curriculum is based in part on the intellectual capacities of the students. ¬†Bruner’s work serves as an example of employing cognitive principles in curriculum development.