The Impact of Cognitive Education Training on Teachers’ Cognitive Performance

Cognitive education is usually considered in terms of its impact on students’ problem-solving skills and their acquisition of disciplinary knowledge. Little is known about the impact of cognitive training on the cognitive skills of teachers themselves. In this pilot study, 80 South African high school teachers participated in the cognitive education (Instrumental Enrichment) course and then implemented the principles of cognitive teaching/learning in their classroom instruction. Teachers’ problem-solving skills were evaluated before the start and after 9 months of training and implementation. Significant changes were observed in teachers’ problem-solving performance. Teachers with better mastery of cognitive education program also demonstrated better cognitive task performance on the posttest. Teachers with weaker pre-training cognitive performance made greater relative gains than teachers with stronger initial performance. Recommendations are made regarding the use of Instrumental Enrichment as a tool of cognitive enhancement for teachers.

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