Cognitive coaching has evolved out of the idea that a large part of teaching is about decision-making, which is a cognitive process and that building cognitive capacity (which refers to one's mental ability and includes both intuition and logic), both independently and as members of a community, is key to developing excellence. Central to this is the idea of developing self-direction, which is self-managing, self-monitoring and self-modifying behaviour.
''Cognitive processes help us decide what to focus on, when to focus and in what ways'' - Feuerstein, R.,mFeuerstein, R.S. and Falk L.H, (2010) Beyond Smarter: Mediated learning and the brain's capacity for change.New York: Teachers College Press, p. 2
The key propositions of Cognitive Coaching are:
- all behaviour is produced by thought and perception
- teaching is constant decision-making
- to learn something new requires engagement and alteration in thought
- humans continue to grow cognitively
I was introduced to a new term for a concept that I have been grappling with in terms of how I identify myself as a learner - that of holonomy, which is the science of interacting parts which are simultaneously separate parts and part of a whole.
Developing holonomy consists of three outcomes:
- Supporting people to become independent and self-actualizing
- For members of the community to function interdependently, recognizing their capacity to both self-regulate and be regulated within the norms, values and goals of the larger system
- For individuals to be able to transcend and continually learn from parts/ whole dualities, to search for meaning and mystery while embracing the challenges, tensions and conflicts such dualities bring
Holonomous people strive to understand the arrangements and relationships of wholes and parts and can embrace both micro and macro views. They can perceive large perspectives and understand the whole is filled with detail; anticipate consequences; understand and care for deeper, long-range needs; hear, understand and empathize with the views and cultures of others; encounter life with curiosity, wonder, humility, humor and a sense of adventure; draw upon intuitive, spiritual and scientific knowledge and weave them together; see beyond their own personal viewpoints to the world beyond them.
Engagement with such a simultaneous interplay of dichotomies requires people to draw on 5 central states of mind: Human beings can gain cognitive, emotional and moral complexity, expanding their perspectives from an ego identity to a systems identity. They do this by gaining capacity in accessing and applying 5 states of mind: consciousness, craftsmanship, efficacy, flexibility, interdependence.
My next post will explore these further.
Source: Costa, A. and Garmston, R. 2013. Cognitive Coaching Seminars: Foundation Training Learning Guide (9th ed.)