"It is sad, as an educator, to see many students who come into my class lacking the confidence they need to be successful in school. It is imperative that students are given the opportunities to excel. BrainWare Safari was that opportunity and the students definitely took advantage of it. I could see changes in their ability to think logically and to solve problems. They looked forward to practicing the skills in BrainWare Safari. They just wanted to keep going."
The word "cognitive" means different things to different people, but generally, the term is used to refer to processes that happen in our brains that help us take in, process, manipulated, store and retrieve information about the outside world. In other words, cognitive skills are the processes or skills that help us learn and think, solve problems, collaborate and create.
At Learning Enhancement Corporation, we developed a model of mental processing which identifies some of the critical processes involved in learning and classifies functions into four main areas: Reception, Perception, Memory and Thinking.
Reception is the initial step in the learning sequence and involves the processing of sensory inputs. Inputs may be visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or mediated by other senses. The enormous amount of information available to our senses must be compared, sorted, organized, and then filtered to eliminate irrelevant information and enable relevant information to flow through to other processes. The skills required to perform these functions subconsciously within fractions of a second include various attention skills (e.g., selective attention) and sensory memory skills.
At the next stage of the learning sequence, information selected in the Reception stage is further processed to identify and interpret it. This requires retrieving stored information from memory and integrating it with the new information. The skills required to perform these functions are primarily visual and auditory processing skills and memory skills. These processes occur within seconds and are performed non-consciously.
Memory is essential in all phases of information processing and is integral to any ability to manipulate information, compare, comprehend, and learn. In fact, if we can't remember something, we can't say that we learned it. Furthermore, we need memory to actually think anything www. Memory skills range from immediate to long-term depending on the duration of time they are store, and differ in the degree to which information is maintained in conscious thought.
Thinking is the stage of the learning sequence where mental processes become conscious. Meaningful information (that is, filtered inputs which have been process, identified and interpreted) is held in the mind and modified and manipulated in order to achieve comprehension and to reach a goal or solve a problem. Thus, skills like reasoning, planning and strategy play a vital role in conscious thinking processes.
BrainWare Safari develops 41 cognitive skills in the areas of Attention, Memory, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, Thinking and Sensory Integration.