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Essay on the Concept of Social Cognitive Theory

Date:  2021-05-20 14:23:11
4 pages  (954 words)
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In psychology, the concept of social cognitive theory relates to how people act and eventually translates into the performance of individual behavior. According to social cognitive theory, behaviorism is developed by a persons belief, expectations, and self-perception (Schunk, 2011). In the education platform, especially social cognitive theory maintains that when a person observes the behaviorism of their models of their instructors, it is easy to practice and engage in what they have learned successfully. Social cognitive theory initially emerged in 1931 when Edwin Holt theorized that the actions exhibited by animals are influenced by the fulfillment of their psychological emotions, desires, and feelings. 1941 saw both John Dollard and Neal Miller argue that learning is facilitated by four key factors inclusive of responses, cue, rewards, and drives. Nonetheless, Albert Bandura and his psychology students are considered as the greatest developers of the social cognitive theory. According to his study, Bandura reasserted that an individuals perceived self-efficacy directly correlates with his or her behavioral change.

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During teaching, teachers require to understand and recognize that each learner develops and grows differently. Therefore, there is a need to design lessons that are both appropriate and challenging for an efficient learning experience. Planning for instructional time requires developing the best modeling practices and setting of personal goals that can influence improved performance in each student (Nabavi, 2012). Modeling sessions can be done through peer groups and a teachers personal behavior. During planning, the instructor should practice on the best postures of using during class time and practice on thinking aloud strategies that are best suited for problem-solving sessions. Also, a teacher should compose enthusiastic personal behavior that one should model for the students thus appealing to them. On the other hand, planning for instruction time includes peer modeling is efficient as this is one way of intermingling performers and non-performers to help develop their existing knowledge. Planning for an instructional time also requires a teacher to compile stories of students whose hard work overcame their mental, economic, and physical challenges.

Todays education platform requires an instructors knowledge in his or her students abilities, thus developing them using their social cognitive understanding of cultural diversity. Differentiating teaching methodologies on the basis of a students behavior wholly exhibits an instructors knowledge that beliefs, values, rules, and skills differ in each (Sarah, 2011). Notably, it is through cultural affiliations that students understand peoples way of life and how it influences and develops the desired behavior in students. For instance, recognizing that Latin Americans perform best in cooperative activities unlike through individual competition is a significant step in promoting collective studying in them leading to exhibition of the required behavior in each one of them and later academic excellence. However, embracing and instructing students on the basis of cultural diversity requires a teachers consistent approval, sets clear goals, structures conducive environments, and is socially available to help support the students in particular area.

For a teacher to effectively manage and develop the motivation in students, there is a need to grow to reinforce and maintain the personal intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in all their learners (Sarah, 2011). Motivation is also nurtured through developing a positive environment. Encouraging development of extrinsic motivation requires reinforcing external factors which include punishments and rewards. It is here that a teacher ensures to connect that positive behavior results to merits and negative practices results to demerits. On the other hand, intrinsic motivators are developed inwardly in learners through constant encouragement to attain higher marks and positions in their academic work. Inward motivation is nurtured through a teachers recognition of positive progress in specified areas and maintaining portfolios where good examples of people who presented excellent outcomes are shown. Also, motivation in students is developed through the creation of a trusted and positive environment, both at school and at home (Schunk, 2011). By so doing learners present attractive outcomes in schools since their hierarchy of needs are being considered especially those of psychological security.

I identify with the social cognitive theory as it provides me with the opportunity to act as a facilitator or guide to students through different domains of their learning process. Moreover, I acknowledge the fact that observational learning through modeling sets a scene for students where expanded learning rate and the amount of knowledge acquired (Schunk, 2011). Notably, it is through social cognition I understand that giving social or verbal praises and encouragements lead learner into elevating more efforts in their studies and later success. Moreover, this lesson has cautioned me against setting unrealistic goals for my students as it places them in highly potential situations of failing instead of improving.

I will utilize the acquired social cognitive knowledge through instructing them in small, paced, but successfully mastered steps. Notably, these steps will include setting a neatly organized instruction plan that consists of well outlined modeled sessions portrayed through my personal behavior and those of classroom peers. Consequently, actual teaching sessions will encompass accommodating each student on their cultural differences and affiliations will be a core consideration (Martin & Loomis, 2013). Moreover, I will be a champion motivator of each student through encouraging each one of them to set goals and achieve them as others have successfully managed to do so. The attained knowledge will also help me in building a trustable environment both at school and at home since it is one way of encouraging social and psychological development in learners.


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Martin, J, D & Loomis, S, K. (2013). Building teachers: A constructivist approach to

introducing education. Canada: Cengage Learning.Nabavi, R. T. (2012). Banduras social learning theory & social cognitive learning theory.

Theory of Developmental Psychology. 1-24.Sarah, M, S. (2011). Cognitive learning theory. Retrieved from, D. H. (2011). Learning theories: An educational perspective. Boston, Mass: Allyn & Bacon.

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