If we are to reverse this trend of negativity with respect to one’s being creative, then, when talking to people or giving an assignment, I offer two simple guidelines for fostering creative cognition: Avoid rigidity and only analytic process to dominate; and allow for, encourage, honor, and respect elasticity and variables through engagement of one’s imagination.
Examples of Cognitive Functions
These examples of cognitive and metacognitive skills are excerpted from a book I coauthored with Drew Bogner and Jorun Buli-Holmber, “Teaching and Learning: A Model for Academic and Social Cognition.”
Phase One: Beginning Awareness and Acknowledging
- Recognizing: The person knew that the car was new.
- Realizing: The girl knew/understood there was danger when the fire alarm rang.
- Classifying: There were five green apples on the table with one next to the other.
- Comparing: The audience noted that each performer had red hair and all were women.
- Contrasting: The peach tasted sweet, but the lemon was sour.
Phase 2: Critical and Creative Thinking
- Prioritizing: Before going to see the movie, the tickets first had to be bought.
- Communicating: The driver yelled out the words on the sign, which read, “Do not park here.”
- Inferring: The bird prints in the sand caused the group to believe a bird was walking there earlier.
- Active listening: The student heard every word being spoken and demonstrated interest in the topic by being able to discuss it.
- Inventing: She originated the idea of having student-needed times for snacking during the school day.
- Predicting: The townspeople foretold the arrival of a storm.
- Generalizing: Everyone simplified the importance of the car on the lawn.
- Sequencing: The links of the chain were in a red, green, blue, and pink series.
- Initial deciding: Initially there were three possible choices provided for the best gymnast award.
- Initial problem solving: The dilemma of the dog chasing the cat seemed to have no immediate resolution.
Phase 3: The Metacognitive Processes
- Evaluating: The teacher estimated the grade for the student’s essay.
- Organizing: The students systematized the list by sorting out and classifying the nouns.
- Critiquing: After the diamond was examined, the appraisal was very high.
- Collaborating: The two boys teamed up for the basketball competition.
- Tolerating: She permitted the purchase of the new puppy, although she didn’t want a new dog in the house.
- Advanced deciding: The final resolution was to have the class elect a new leader.
- Risk taking: It was a gamble to go in the door without knocking.
- Analyzing: The investigation seemed to produce positive results.
- Synthesizing: She blended the important life events from ages five through twelve into a six-page essay.
- Advanced problem-solving: After reflecting for some time, the final solution was to try the roller-coaster ride, even though it was challenging and difficult to comprehend why one made that choice.
- Recalling: The girl reminded herself that she was due at the birthday party by noon.
- Reflecting: Tom contemplated the wonderful time at the gym, as he realized it was a positive experience.
- Self-actuating: She activated the plan by moving to a different house.
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Schiering is a professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. She’s a chaplain at Westchester Medical Center, an author, and international speaker on motivation, cognition, meta-cognition, and means for teaching character development to children and adults. She’s been teaching at the elementary, middle school, and college levels for a career spanning 45 years.