Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory

Monday, 14 January 2019

Social Learning Theory is a theory of learning and social behavior which proposes that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others. It states that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement.

Social Learning Theory draws heavily on the concept of modeling. Albert Bandura, an influential social cognitive psychologist outlined three types of modeling stimuli: The live models, verbal instruction, and symbolic.

The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modeling process:

  • Attention: In order to learn, you need to pay attention. The more interesting a model is, the more it will catch attention. In school, we can catch the attention of the students if we show them, and get them involved in interesting and engaging contents with the use of projectors interactive flat panels and video walls.

  • Retention: It is the ability of any individual to store information that he/she acquired from the above model. If you really caught the interest of the students, it will be easier for them to remember what have they watched so that it may be used at a later date. Lesson capture tools allow us to record lessons and either store on a FTP server or onto YouTube as a private channel for review and comprehension.

  • Reproduction: Is the implementation of the information you have observed. It requires the input of others to provide self-correcting feedback. Just like in students, the teachers or parents should guide the students to improve that skills. Using tools like Zoom for reproducing that content and showing actual understanding rather than just regurgitating that information has been comprehended.

  • Motivation: An individual needs to be responsible for their learning to repeat the observed behavior. This is where positive reinforcement takes part to influence the observer whether he/she will do, or avoid doing the action. Understanding the consequence for the behavior is also motivation, as students learn what behavior can be imitated and what cannot.

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