Cognitive development occurs over time. Humans are the only life form that are born without the capacity to run, jump and escape predators because the human birth canal is smaller than most and does not allow for fully developed cognitive development at the time of birth as some other creatures, who are developed, at birth.
Thinking involves active thought, manipulation of ideas and problem-solving. Thinking occurs when one wants to reason cognitively, change a concept that exists or consider the matter in a different manner.
Thinking is a skill that develops over time through training and persistent exercise. Thoughtful questioning is a useful skill that develops thinking. Debating provides debaters with thought – through the useful experience of debating a concept, not arguing with an individual.
High ability individuals are frequently stimulated by thinking and sometimes with youth, there is a reference to 'over-thinking', the process whereby an individual complicates a relatively simple issue, e.g., generating more options in a multiple-choice question than are formally provided. The concept of 'rumination' originates from a cow chewing its cud and refers to the circuitous thinking process (without a positive, final, outcome) that is often associated with depression. Essentially, one should be able to provide proof of whatever is influencing one's thinking. Aberrant thoughts, that exist without proof, are less substantial than thoughts that are influenced by evidence because these are thoughts that are backed by, or based upon, facts. Information provides the basis upon which thoughts are reconsidered or perhaps even changed.
“One's perception is one's reality" so one's personal view of something can influence how one thinks about a certain event or experience. Benjamin Bloom's eponymous Bloom's Taxonomy, developed when he was at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, is a hierarchy of cognitive processes or thinking. Teachers learn about Bloom's Taxonomy as a way of organizing different levels (or complexity) of thought. Generally, the easier, earlier developed three levels of thought are referred to as the 'Lower Order Thinking Skills' (i.e., knowledge, comprehension, and application) as opposed to the top three levels of thought processes, which are referred to as the 'Higher Order Thinking Skills' (i.e., analysis, synthesis and evaluation). Later, the taxonomy was revised with 'higher order thinking' changing to become analysis, evaluation, and creation.
Emerita Professor Karen Rogers was referring to Bloom's Taxonomy when she spoke about the need for high ability students to experience “HOTS not MOTS" – an acronym for such students requiring Higher Order Thinking Skills … not More Of The Same to stimulate their thinking and cognitive development.
© Michele Juratowitch