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COGNITION AND BEYOND!

Redefining the cognition of learning…

TOM & JERRY MOMENTS – I

PUSS GETS THE BOOT

I must have been in Standard 5th when I first watched the famous Tom & Jerry cartoon. My uncle intermittently asked a question, “Do you know what these types of movies are called, and which type of movie is most difficult to make?” I did not have an answer to it, so he himself answered, “These types of movies are called animations, and animations are most difficult of all movies to make.” I believed him instantly, as I had always done, since my uncles had always acted as the most important source of acquiring learning for me! It was years later that I started exploring animations from the perspective of cognition and Instructional Design [ID]. What exposed me to this thought was again another interesting anecdote.

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THE COGNITION OF LEARNING

Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. …

Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read. The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said:

‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists); Has created man from a clot; Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous; Who has taught (the writing) by the pen; Has taught man that which he knew not.’ [Al Quran :: Surah Al Alaq :: Verses 1 to 5 – the first revelation to the Prophet, PBUH]

–          Excerpt from Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Hadith 3

 

Contrary to popular belief, cognition and the ability to learn is a gift of God. That explains why some learners are astutely intelligent while some are generatively retarded [with all due politeness]. It is important for us to differentiate between learning and cognition, since a lot of times we tend to divert ourselves to cognition while it would suffice to get enthralled with simple learning. Organizations at times spend a lot on learning and development [the contemporary nomenclature to the apathetic term training and development]. It would; therefore, be of paramount importance for us to ascertain whether the requirement is simplistic learning or cognition before we define the learning objectives of any learning module.

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