Games for Kids
Understanding Schank’s Twelve Cognitive Processes

Roger Schank has outlined twelve major cognitive processes. I use these processes to help frame many of my reviews for middle school kids.

Of the three cognitive/intelligence theorists I use for my reviews, Schank’s is the most contentious. This is primarily because he irritates educators in the conventional educational and political system because he believes many of the items and subjects we are teaching are wrong and not relevant for most kids. For example, he believes kids should be actively involved in selecting their own topics for learning and studying—though still paying attention to the twelve cognitive processes. Schank is perhaps most well known as a villain for notoriously claiming that Algebra is not a useful subject on which many kids should waste their time learning. As well can be imagined, many math teachers are not amused by his stance.

Whether you love or hate Schank’s viewpoints, the reality is that he does force us to think differently about how kids learn and what thinking processes they will need in their future adult world. Even though he is a gadfly and contrarian thinker, it doesn’t, however, mean he is wrong about his cognitive processes.

No matter which learning taxonomy you like or use, the important thing is to make sure your middle school child’s brain is thinking in multiple ways, rather than relying on one or two thinking or learning processes.

Here are the links to useful websites which will help you understand Schank’s Cognitive Processes:

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