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Theory of Learning and Development: Social learning theory - Research Paper Example

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Theory of Learning and Development: Social learning theory

The implications of this theory in the classroom setting for school-age children shall be considered. The implications of this theory shall be considered in terms of how they address the needs of developing children, as well as those with special learning needs. Body The social learning theory was proposed by Albert Bandura and has become one of the most significant learning theories in the world. Three basic concepts surround this theory. First is that people can learn by observation. Bandura illustrated that children learn and mimic activities and behaviors by observing other people. Thus, when given a doll, children usually act out what they have seen other adults do to other people, even to themselves. Observational learning includes the live model which includes the individual demonstrating a behavior; the verbal instruction model which includes descriptions of behaviors; and the symbolic behavior which includes real or fictional character manifesting behaviors in books and films or the TV (Cherry, 2011). In the social learning theory, the mental states are important elements in learning process and that intrinsic reinforcement can help secure internal reward including pride and a sense of accomplishment. The focus on internal thoughts helps link cognitive and learning theories with each other (Cherry, 2011). This social learning theory also highlights the fact that learning does not always cause changes in behavior. Behavioral theorists believe that learning eventually changes behavior; the social learning theory highlighted the fact that people can gain new data and information without necessarily changing their behavior (Cherry, 2011). Not all observations can be effectively retained. There are different factors which impact on the model and the learner in order to make the social learning process effective. There are various steps which can be used in the social learning process. The first step is attention – where, in order for the learner to retain information, his attention must be captured and sustained (Cherry, 2011). In these instances, all distracting elements must be eliminated in the learner’s environment. Second step is – retention. Retention can be affected also by different elements and the ability to recall data later can add to the social learning process. Third step is – reproduction. Once behavior and information is retained, performing the behavior follows and by practicing and applying such behavior, skill advancement can follow (Cherry, 2011). Last step is – motivation. In order for social learning to be effective, the learner must be motivated to manifest and imitate the behavior he has learned. In these instances, reinforcement and punishment can play a significant role. Among school age children, the social learning theory can be used by demonstrating to the children, behavior which they can learn and later apply into their life and their activities. Most children actually readily learn through social interactions with other people (Meltzoff,, 2009). The main social skills in human development include imitation, shared attention, and empathic understanding. By imitating other people’s behavior, children can easily learn. These children often imitate a great diversity and variety of acts and behaviors, including their parent’s mannerisms, speech, and use of instruments (Meltzoff,, 2009). A school age child may see how a parent or a sibling is using the ...Show more


Running head: LEARNING THEORY Theory of Learning and Development: Social learning theory (name) (school) (date) Theory of Learning and Development: Social learning theory Introduction There are a variety of theories in learning and development and these theories are all meant to assist the learners and teachers in the education process…
Author : ycruickshank
Theory of Learning and Development: Social learning theory essay example
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