Role of Content Knowledge in Cognition & Information Processing

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we will talk about content knowledge, what it is and what is its role in cognition and information processing. Building on students' content knowledge can help them construct new knowledge.

What is Content Knowledge?

Content knowledge is knowledge about a particular content area, such as a math teacher who has content knowledge about math. Cognition is learning, or the processes of increasing knowledge through senses, experience, and thinking. Information processing describes the ways cognition can take content knowledge and integrate it into one's knowledge base. When teachers have strong content knowledge, they are better able to assist in the cognition and information processing of their students.

Teachers as Experts

Content knowledge alone is necessary, but it is not sufficient for effective teaching. Specific content knowledge within a discipline like math, science, literature, or social studies can add expertise and in-depth knowledge within a particular field.

In addition to content knowledge, effective teachers also need to know about classroom management, student development, and instructional strategies to create effective, meaningful, and informative lessons that will enable students to acquire that knowledge to help increase and form their learning experience. Most of these pedagogical skills are interdisciplinary and generalizable across the curriculum.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account