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Cognitivism focuses on inner learning. Allowing students to create and invent really makes an impact on their learning. It also implies that all learning is not result from stimuli. Using my experience in learning a musical instrument, I can say that no child came to 6th grade band class without any influence that would be able to assist in learning. Outside of the music training given in elementary school, most humans have heard music on the radio at the least. They already know the goal in which they are trying to accomplish, which is making music. Smith (2002), highlights Bruner's theory involving environmental and experiential factors. This supports the idea that new band students may be new to their instrument, but not totally new to music. This aids in their skill development. If the music students had no knowledge prior to registering for a music class, they would have to be taught how to count, the alphabet in order to understand note names, the difference in pitch, speed of music (tempo) and so much more. Some of these concepts may have been taught in previous grades and others through observing their environment. As a result, as learning goes on they can make predictions, create and invent things such as their own songs. 


One example I can give relates to Bruner's statement "Interest in the material to be learned is the best stimulus to learning, rather than such external goals as grades or later competitive advantage" (Smith, 2002). I have personally, and have witnessed other musicians, learn songs that are far past their level of training. These songs, usually popular songs from well known artists, include skills that are not presented as objectives in year 1 or 2 of musical training. However, the motivation and little training they received thus far allowed them to recreate the tune from the radio they love so much.

These coinciding theories and ideals further exemplify Bruner's work in both cognitivism as well as constructivism.


Smith, M.K. (2002) ‘Jerome S. Bruner and the process of education’, The encyclopedia of pedagogy and informal education. [ Retrieved: May 27, 2020]

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Connecting to others is a sure way to be impacted in some way. In terms of of education and learning, surrounding oneself with other people who have an interest, passion and possibly more knowledge can really improve skill. 

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