Conative vs Cognitive: Cultivate a Growth Mindset Over a Fixed One


Cognitive means 'concerned with knowing or thinking'; it applies to perception, memory, and knowledge processes.

Whenever you ask students to generalize, draw conclusions, investigate, make decisions, experiment, or identify logical errors, you're helping them develop their cognitive skills. This occurs when they assess the relevance and credibility of the information and sources they encounter.

Conative means 'concerned with will or willed action'; it applies to volition, intention, and voluntary behavior processes.

The conative area of the mind is responsible for our instincts or innate forces. When understood, an individual can much more accurately predict and preserve the longevity of their interest in particular tasks, roles, and responsibilities.

To deepen their understanding of the content, students must develop a keen awareness of their thinking and the thinking of others. This requires skills that are a little more challenging to instill in them, such as self-control, resiliency, and the ability to avoid negative thinking.

Through the formal education system, students are taught to think and make decisions based on the school's interpretation of their cognitive abilities. Though it is an important piece for measuring a student's understanding and mastery of particular topics, BPM CAP believes that it is not the most effective part of the brain to decide what they should do with their future.

The 'affective' part of the brain, or our emotional part of the brain, is a more critical piece in understanding one's motivations, attitudes, and beliefs towards a particular job, role, or task. While we enjoy the element of coaching our scholars' to become more emotionally intelligent, this too can be a difficult area of their minds to make decisions with due to the emotional immaturity that most scholars' have when it comes time to make these decisions at such a young and still-developing age.

Conative, responsible for our instincts and innate forces, when understood, can much more accurately predict and preserve scholars' longevity as they relate to particular tasks, roles, and responsibilities. The Conative area of the mind is the only fixed area that scholars' are born with. With a thorough understanding of how they instinctively react, scholars' can better train the other two areas of their minds (Cognitive and Affective) to respond more effectively to work or decisions they must complete.