How else might school be organized? There is an easy answer to this: organize school around cognitive processes. In 1892, when the American high school was designed, we didn’t know much about cognition. Now we do. It is time to re-think school.
School, at every age, needs to be designed around these processes, since it is through these processes that everyone learns. Academic subjects are irrelevant to real learning. They are not irrelevant to the education of academics of course. But, how many people really want to need to become experts in the academic fields?
Twelve cognitive processes that underlie all learning are:
1. Prediction: determining what will happen next
2. Modeling: figuring out how things work
3. Experimentation: coming to conclusions after trying things out
4. Values: deciding between things you care about
1. Diagnosis: determining what happened from the evidence
2. Planning: determining a course of action
3. Causation: understanding why something happened
4. Judgment: deciding between choices
1. Influence: figuring out how to get someone else to do something that you want them to do
2. Teamwork: getting along with others when working towards a common goal
3. Negotiation: trading with others and completing successful deals
4. Description: communicating one’s thoughts and what has just happened to others