Showing posts from April, 2018

Inquiry, part 2

Inquiry part 2

Inquiry literally means the process by which information is discovered by asking questions.

If you examine Bloom’s Taxonomy (specifically and exclusively the taxonomy in the cognitive domain,not the affective or psychomotor domains) the two lowest domains are simply remembering and understanding, where remembering is an ability to recall information from memory and understanding is a reasonably authentic basic perception of what something is, or what it does.

Application, the next level, is the ability of the learner to use the information that they remember and understand and actually do something with it - and by “something” we mean some thing that is not solely in the clinical educational context. Passing a test is not, in and of itself, application, especially since many tests in our profession are tests of short-term recall (remembering) in no particularly broad context.  But application can be measured in the context of a test, by having students actually do someth…
The Emperor, the Cannibal, and Inquiry
If you’ve seen the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix you may remember that the first act is set at the Battle of Vindobona in the forests around the Danube River, where the Emperor (and Stoic Philosopher) Marcus Aurelius has just defeated the Germanic horde.  Marcus Aurelius did die in Vindobona in the year 180. It dramatically interprets what was a real historical event.
In the Meditationsof the same Marcus Aurelius, which he wrote as personal journals throughout the last 20 years of his life, he describes, as a methodology of inquiry and  examination:  “This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution?  What is its substance and material? And what is its form? And what is it doing in this world. And how long does it subsist?” ( Book 8 chapter 11)
It is, many years after Aristotle but long before Francis Bacon and the modern scientific method, an effort to describe a process in how he might examine new things, a mode…


The terms cognition and cognitive are used a lot in our profession but both words lack a truly clean and precise definition. 
The terms originate from the Latin cognoscere which means ‘get to know’ and it is the blanket term for all of the mental and intellectual processes and concepts of concrete and abstract processing which have to do with learned knowledge, abstract reasoning, perception, judgment, memory, processing, reasoning and logical construction of thought within the human mind. It is not how much you have learned, nor is it your IQ. It is perhaps best described as the processes at work in your brain when you are “thinking” and using cognitive tasks, which are those those mental actions that, when working together, represent the level of your cognitive ability. But there is also good evidence that the processes of learning (just like everything else) result in outcomes which are actually very much influenced by the strategies which are utilized by the learner. In ma…