Cognitive Styles and Learning Strategies
Cognitive style is the learner's predisposition to use a particular learning strategy when attending, perceiving, and thinking. Strategies, sometimes referred to as approaches or orientations, are the learner's intentional plans for selecting and combining schema-based skills into routines. Skills range from knowledge-based, where access to patterns of stored representations is necessary for identifying the denotated color "yellow," to action-based, where transformation of information is needed for interpreting the connotated meaning of "yellow" as "cowardly" to sync with the context. Whereas skills are related principally to abilities, strategies are related principally to style. In reading, skills include decoding and analyzing words for identification. Once the strategy decision has been made that an inference is needed, making the inference is a skill. Deciding whether to decode or to guess from context or to use both of these skills at once would be a strategy. Research in cognitive style has used different descriptors for similar concepts.