Resources

Metacognition is our awareness of the learning process. Understanding metacognition and how to use metacognitive skills is a major part of becoming a successful learner. This article shows how law professors can help their students understand metacognition and develop metacognitive skills.
This trade book demonstrates the real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning and offers new research about the mind and the brain that...
This article reports on the first phase of a three-part research project aimed at providing some insight into the motivations, operations, and effectiveness of student-led study groups in law school. In the first part of the project, reported here, Dorothy Evensen sets out to understand how law...
Biologists have found their taxonomy classifications helpful as a means of insuring accuracy of communication about their science and as a means of understanding the organization and interrelation of the various parts of the animal and plant world. Bloom's Taxonomy focuses this style of...

Cognitive Research: Applications

Cognitive research, the study of internal mental processes, demonstrates that reasoning is not linear or hierarchical, but rather relies on mental structures that are a result of experience. According to Bloom (1956), "cognitive learning is demonstrated by knowledge recall and the intellectual skills: comprehending information, organizing ideas, analyzing and synthesizing data, applying knowledge, choosing among alternatives in problem-solving, and evaluating ideas or actions".1 Six levels of cognitive learning, known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, have been identified and together, they describe a set of student learning outcomes that provides a clear framework for education. In order from the lowest level to the highest level, these behaviors are 1) Knowledge recall, 2) Comprehension, 3) Application, 4) Analysis, 5) Synthesis, and 6) Evaluation. 

It is assumed that law students will function at high cognitive levels; however, frequently the teaching strategies used do not promote learning at these levels. Faculty often teach content in the way in which they themselves perceive it, without realizing that there are differences in the ways in which professors (experts) and students (novices) think about course content. To improve the cognitive level of students requires that professors understand these differences and integrate teaching strategies that both bridge the gap and provide students with the opportunity to make their thinking visible. Several resources are included below.