Cognitivism emerged as a major paradigm of education in the 1950's, largely in response to the behaviourist paradigm which offered no satisfactory explanation to account for certain types of learning (e.g. problem solving). Scientists wanted to open the black box of the mind and explore what was going on between stimulus and response.
Cognitivists are concerned with what learners know and how they come acquire it. Similar to behaviourism, changes in behavior are observed, but as an indication of what is going on in the learners' mind.
overall purpose of education is for learners to be able to remember and
apply information. Learning is not simply due to external stimuli, it
is a result of mental or cognitive processes.
And the desired outcome of learning is perceiving information,
processing, storing and retrieving this information (memory) and applying it
(transfer). Learners are active participants in the learning process and
teachers pay particular attention to how learners structure, organize and sequence
information sequenced to facilitate optimal processing (learning).