Cognitive Styles and Classroom Learning

By Harry Morgan | Go to book overview
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Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Style

Life is largely a process of adaptation to the circumstances in which we exist. A perennial give-and-take has been going on between living matter and its inanimate surroundings, between one living being and another, ever since the dawn of life in the prehistoric oceans. The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness.

-- Hans Selye

Professional knowledge that is brought to the classroom by teachers has been influenced by their experiences as students in university- based teacher education programs. Professors in university settings, who served as their teachers, were in turn, also influenced by thinkers and scholars who came before them. Philosophical beliefs, more often than not, form the values that direct classroom practice, research interests, and ultimate discoveries by scholars who are active in various fields of study. The work of scholars and thinkers in various fields of study is represented in the university-based curriculum and those active in promoting it. Information derived from this process will ultimately influence the relationship between teachers who take courses in these programs and children in classrooms where they teach.

Cognitive style theory describes relationships between the learner and the environment. Central to this relationship is the role of the individual in various experiences. In human experiences there are investments of self with various intensities.

From the philosophical perspective of phenomenology, experience has two dimensions. Objects of consciousness is one dimension of human experience, and it prevails at the level of our ordinary awareness. Acts


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Cognitive Styles and Classroom Learning


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