What is learning, cognition, and development?

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Young student sits at desk in between two piles of textbooks.For centuries, teachers have wondered about how their students learn and the best ways to teach them. While pedagogical practices and learning systems have varied greatly since the rise of standardized and formal education, one question remains: how can we improve our teaching methods to best meet the learning needs and challenges of our students?

The field of learning, cognition, and development arose as one response to this educational crisis. The field draws from various disciplines, but overall, the focus is to enable teaching professionals to spearhead real and lasting change in their schools, such as implementing new standards across school districts or using student test data to improve teaching processes or learning outcomes. At the field’s core is a desire to understand the human mind and how educators can further its development.

Are you interested in the intricacies of the human mind and how you can support your students’ cognitive growth in your current or future classroom? Do you find it fascinating to learn more about the underlying principles behind the teaching practices administrators urge you to implement in your classroom? Maybe you are seeking career advancement in the field of education?

If so, you might want to consider pursuing your Master of Education in Learning, Cognition and Development. The following article will help expand on these ideas and point you in the right educational direction.

The concepts behind learning, cognition and development?

The field of learning, cognition, and development centers around helping all students overcome their various academic challenges. At its core, it is based on the study of how people think, learn, and grow, which makes it an excellent and diverse area of study for a wide variety of future occupations or doctoral programs. While the field of cognitive development centers around how people of any age think and develop, a special focus on children’s cognitive development and learning attracts numerous K-12 educators.

As a result, many future and current elementary, middle school, and high school teachers and administrators are pursuing master’s degrees in learning, cognition, and development to become more knowledgeable educators and decision-makers. While many students pursue this degree to work in specialized fields such as special education or English as a second language, this advanced degree can benefit anyone interacting with and teaching young children.

For example, as teachers are responsible for their students’ cognitive and academic development, gaining further knowledge of how children are able to communicate and pick up basic reading, writing, science, social, and math skills can help both the educator and the students. Many states and school districts may even urge or require elementary school teachers to seek out advanced training, certification, or education in the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which makes it a savvy choice for hardworking and ambitious teachers.

Through studying cognitive and development theories at an advanced level, graduates will find that their own teaching skills have been enriched, helping them provide more targeted instruction for students who are struggling. Instead of simply guessing at what a student needs in terms of academic support or development, graduates with a master’s in learning, cognition, and development may know exactly what a student needs, thus improving learning outcomes.

Additionally, the median salary for elementary school educators is around $56,900 a year, according to the BLS. With a master’s degree, the Houston Chronicle reports that educators have the potential to earn $2,000 to $10,000 more a year, which could rise even further depending on the school district or learning environment.

How can you enter the field?

Anyone with a passion for helping children succeed academically would be a great fit for learning, cognition, and development studies. There are many bachelor’s degree programs on this subject, though many are multi-disciplinary, as they draw on sociology, psychology, and more to provide students with a broad understanding of the field. With a master’s degree, however, graduates can stand out as an educator and have the potential to earn more.

Though there are plenty of programs revolving around the field of child development, many K-12 educators will have already taken courses on this subject in their undergraduate years, which is why anyone interested in diving deeper in the specifics of children’s cognitive development and learning should consider pursuing their Master of Education in Learning, Cognition and Development.

A master’s program, like the online degree offered through Rutgers, may appeal to three main potential student audiences, according to Find Your Context. The first may be current teachers, policymakers, or administrators who want to further their theoretical knowledge on the subject and improve their students’ learning outcomes. Another target group of students includes individuals looking to work toward a doctorate in the field to teach in higher education or engage in advanced research.

The third group of potential students includes anyone interested in pursuing leadership roles in education, government policy, or related fields, such as advertising or child psychology. While most graduates with this degree pursue careers as K-12 teachers or administrations, there are plenty of areas where these individuals can work, which may include educational foundations, higher education, special education services, government agencies, and research think tanks.

Students who choose to pursue the online Master of Education in Learning, Cognition and Development from Rutgers can benefit from studying the ways in which people, particularly children, think, grow, and learn in a modern educational environment. While this degree is for anyone interested in the psychology of human learning and development, the program offers the possibility of increased earning potential and establishes a firm foundation for those who wish to work toward a doctorate.

This program prepares graduates to start or advance their careers, whether as administrators, educators, or leaders in the field. If you want to broaden your knowledge of cognitive theories or gain new skills in furthering child development, consider reaching out to one of the program representatives today.


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