Evanouski, 504 4173, social learning theory


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Evanouski, 504 4173, social learning theory

  1. 1. Evanouski, 504-4173, Social Learning Theory<br />Social learning theory is widely viewed as a psychological theory that expresses the learning that occurs from modeling, imitating, and observing or learning from one another. Because it is described as learning that occurs within a social context, it is also termed as social cognitive theory CITATION Tay08 l 1033 (Taylor & Mackenney, 2008). Additionally, social learning theory describes attitude change through learning from (a) direct experience (b) various experience (through observation or reading and hearing about) or (c) emotional associations CITATION Smi05 l 1033 (Smith & Ragan, 2005). This theory reflects objectivist epistemology. Even though social learning theory emerged in the late 1800’s, it was brought to the forefront by Albert Bandura in the educational setting in the late 60’s. Social learning theory integrates learning theory with personality theory, which some theorists describe as a bridge of behaviorism and cognitivism. Bandura began his career in the era of behaviorism but thought a piece of the puzzle was missing whereby adding the cognitive framework to the observational framework of Miller and Dollard CITATION Tay08 l 1033 (Taylor & Mackenney, 2008). Because of the combination of behaviorism and cognitivism, theorists such as Bandura are also known as “cognitive behaviorists”. Other major contributors to social learning theory are Julian Rotter, Walter Mischel, Bernard Weiner, Ronald Akers and Robert Sears.<br />According to the social learning theory, there are several aspects crucial in understanding of this theory. “Bandura’s view of the social learning theory is that; human behavior is the result of a continuous interactive process involving cognition, behavior, and environmental factors” (Kim, Jain, Westhoff and Rezabek, 2008, p. 277). Therefore, according to the social learning theory people not only react to their environment, but also cause their environment to change because of their actions with reciprocation continuing between these elements, also known as reciprocal determinism CITATION Tay08 l 1033 (Taylor & Mackenney, 2008). Additionally, another critical component to the social learning theory is that learning can happen without change in the behavior which is in stark contrast to the behaviorist beliefs that behavior is stimulus-response. <br />Modeling, imitation and observation are powerful tools within a learning institution setting, whether it is online or in a traditional face-to-face classroom. Students get the chance to imitate or model what is done. For example, a teacher uses the computer to not only model the wanted behavior, but also to reinforce it by having the students observe and imitate. The purpose is to increase appropriate behavior and decrease undesirable behavior. Furthermore, through modeling, imitation, and observation the student must reproduce what has been shown to them thereby enabling the students to take an active role in their education. In recent years, Bandura has focused his work on the concept of self-efficacy in a variety of contexts. Self-efficacy is the personal beliefs held about succeeding in one’s own abilities to accomplish the given task in any given situation. By having a positive self-perception, achievement in one’s desired outcome is possible. Another important assertion of social learning theory is that by modeling (teacher) and observing (students), a behavior can be achieved more quickly and efficiently. This can be especially important to pre-service teachers. “There is research to suggest that the more experience pre-service teachers have with computers, the less anxiety and the more positive level of intent they will have towards using instructional technology” (Kim et al., 2008, p. 278). <br />Bandura has made great contributions to understanding the significant effects of modeling, imitation, and observation upon learning in people of all ages. Because these skills are still being utilized by our teachers throughout our school systems today, Bandura will continue to play an important role in our learning institutions. <br />References BIBLIOGRAPHY Kim. K., Jain, S., Westhoff, G., & Rezabek, L. (2008). A quantitative exploration of preservice teachers' intent to use computer-based technology. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(3), 275-287. Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design, third edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Taylor, G. R., & Mackenney, L. (2008). Improving human learning in the classroom: theories and teaching practices. Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/Reader/ <br /> <br /> <br />