In working with my protg I tried to apply the knowledge I received while getting acquainted with the principles of teaching and learning developed by the most prominent of the contemporary theorists of the psychology of learning.
According to the social learning theory, developed by Albert Bandura, people learn through the observation of others. Bandura (1977) states: "Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action." (p22). This theory is supported and developed by the social cognitive theory, which emphasizes the importance of beliefs, expectations and self-perception in the learning process. Social cognitive theory distinguishes between enactive and vicarious learning. Enactive learning is learning by doing and experiencing the consequences of your actions (self-regulation of behavior, goal directed behavior, self-monitoring), while vicarious is learning by observing others.(Bandura, 1977). Considering the mechanism of training process described in this theory I used the vicarious learning strategy, giving my student the opportunity to observe how my colleagues and I are dealing with the difficulties we have to face, and introducing her to the problem-solving strategies we are using. I also emphasized the importance of self-control of the learning process for my protg, encouraged her to analyze the outcomes of it and plan it so that she would be able to complete all the needed academic work at a proper level, thus using the enactive learning strategy.
According to the Jean Piaget's theory, one of the constructivist perspectives of learning, there are 2 sides of adaptation, adjustment to the new environment - assimilation, which is fitting new information into existing schemes, and accommodation stage, when he/she is altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to new information the environment provides him/her. According to Piaget cognitive structures change through the processes of adaptation.( Brainerd, 1978)
I tried to facilitate the adaptation process for my student, that's why I asked my colleagues to welcome her, explained them that she was coming there to learn, in the student role, and not as just another pair of hands. When my protg finally arrived I explained her I also was learning, and emphasized we had to work in collaboration and negotiate rather than building a mentor-student relations. To help the assimilation process to pass smoothly I introduced the student to the methods of our agency.
Abraham Maslow said that humans had the hierarchy of needs, ranging from lower-level needs for survival and safety, to higher-level needs for intellectual achievement and finally self-actualization. According to his studies the higher level needs appeared only when the lower-level needs were satisfied.(Maslow, 1970). It is obvious that when a human being enters a new environment he/she is feeling himself/herself unprotected and endangered,