The Learner’s Thinking

  • Keith S. Taber


This chapter explores how ‘thinking’ is best understood in the context of research into learners’ thinking. Thinking is associated with processing within a person’s cognitive system, much of which will not be under direct conscious control or even open to introspection. The importance of much preconscious thinking to scientific work and to learning is acknowledged. Terms such as creative thinking, logical thinking, problem-solving and metacognition are considered from the modelling perspective adopted in the book; and the notion of scientific thinking when it is adopted in relation to the wider scientific community is discussed. The limitations of computing metaphors for thinking are explored considering how cognition may be best understood as an emergent property of a system that has evolved iteratively under severe constraints, and in particular in the likelihood of much processing in the brain relying upon synaptic networks tuned in response to the individual's experience of the world. The chapter closes with a review of the relationships between key terms (ideas, perception, memory, understanding and thinking) explored in this part of the book.


Science Education Cognitive System Creative Thinking Visual Working Memory Conscious Awareness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith S. Taber
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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