Year of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Dr. Paul Eggen

Second Advisor

Dr. Royal Van Horn


The goal of this paper is to provide classroom teachers a more unified theory of cognition. The current cognitive theories of information processing, schema theory, and constructivism exhibit limitations and a lack of cohesion that make their implications for teachers unclear. This paper will be presented in five sections. 1) The first describes problems with current cognitive theories and the need for a unified theory of cognition 2) The second provides a review of the literature of current cognitive theories. 3) The third section consists of research in the history of cognitive theory both in philosophy and psychology. 4) The fourth describes how a fresh look at the philosophy of Immanuel Kant can provide a more unified cognitive theory to educational psychology. 5) Finally, the paper offers specific implications for instruction under these headings:

  1. Teachers should describe the concept to be taught as a rule.
  2. Teachers should introduce the concept rule by experience or by example.
  3. Teachers should use the concept rule as a framework for effective questioning.
  4. Teachers should describe the rule with abstract language only after students have understood the rule.

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