What's "Cogent"?

"What's 'cogent?'", you ask.

"Project based learning", we answer.

"No, really," you say, "What's 'cogent'?"

According to the dictionary, the word cogent [ko' junt] comes from a 14th Century French word that meant "necessary, urgent." Today's English word means about the same: "convincing; appealing to the powers of reason".

Our main purpose here is not to define a word or to introduce ourselves. It is to introduce a question for you, about your organization. "What's cogent?" What is needed now to create its future? What do your people need to build its capacity and their careers, and to support others doing the same?

In the 21st Century, having a global career and an organizational future means being able to communicate, cooperate, and perform well from the start, not only within your organization, but also with outsiders, with people and organizations different than you and yours. Such learning is not academic. It is not subject matter that can be studied, it is not passing a multiple choice test, nor is it, most importantly, anything that an individual can do alone.

So, what's cogent?

Our answer to the question is this: the learning that is cogent to our individual and collective careers is project based learning. PBL and its family – , communities of practice, mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, STEM instruction, problem based learning, and Maker Education, and project management – all of these engineer physical things that make a difference in the operating world as the same time as they build key competencies. These are competencies that make for careers going forward: empathy, imagination, systems thinking, rigor, cooperation, and management skills. This is project know-how. This is what enables practitioners to collaborate and contribute to their organizations, wherever they are in today's complex, conflicted, and turbulent world.

At Cogent Language, our mission is to help build project know-how for individual and collective futures by project based learning. Our core competence is in designing and deploying learning paths in project know-how for individuals and organizations, including businesses, universities, schools, and NPO's.

So, before you decide on a learning path for you or your organization, be sure it is "cogent". Then compare its features with ours. For that purpose, here is a handy checklist.