Advantages of the Social Cognitive Theory in the Classroom Essay

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Social Cognitive Theory


Major Components and Theorists

This theory is a concept or view, which focuses on learning by observing others (Hurst, 2014). It has three major components or assumptions. The first is that learners can obtain new knowledge or learn new behaviors by observing a model. A model is someone who shows a certain behavior or transmits knowledge to another or others. The second assumption or component is that leaning is an inner process, which can result in a behavior or not result in it. The new learning may be processed but not occur until another time. The third is the acquisition of goal-directed behavior. This assumption states that people fix their own goals and adjust their behavior according to these goals. Motivation leads them to fulfill these goals. The next assumption is the eventual self-regulation of the learned behavior by observing models, improving and perfecting what he learns and compares his learning with the model. And the last assumption is that reinforcement and punishment only indirectly affect human learning and behavior. They form expectations, based on probable consequences of future responses, in burn, according to how present responses are either reinforced or punished. Their expectations are influenced also by their vicarious experiences. These are the consequences of other people's experiences. A reinforcing or punishing effect may develop when an expected consequence does not happen (Hurst).

How to Differentiate Lessons and Activities according to the Theory

This can be done by remembering certain principles. First, differentiation does not and cannot occur overnight but is always in progress (Williams, 2014). Second, it can be achieved in many ways and according to the chosen methods. It can be achieved according to content, or what is learned; process, or the activities that supports the learning; and products, which demonstrate the learning. The methods may be readiness, which is the student's academic competence; learning profile, his way of leaning; and his interest. Third, the teacher should discover all possible information about the student to help her design the curriculum and the lessons. This can be done through surveys and surveys, reading and writing as well as an analysis of standardized tests and the teacher's own assessment of the student's weaknesses and competencies. Fourth, the teacher should formally or informally pre-evaluate the student's level of knowledge about the lesson. Doing this will help uncover misconceptions, change instructions when warranted, and form flexible groups. Fifth, individual needs are met by beginning with a single activity to allow students a feeling of independence, ownership and a sense of choice. Sixth, one differentiated lessons may be introduced gradually. Seventh, teacher and student expectations may be set through clear and concise directions to students and sufficient time to plan and keep planning and fixing a schedule when required. And eighth, the teacher should remain updated on the best practices by attending seminars, conferences or obtaining differentiated instruction. This can also be done by observing other teachers of the same subject, inviting those who are proficient in differentiated instruction for very valuable feedback (Williams).

Theory's Impact on Classroom Management and Student Learning

Social interactions are important not only on learning but also on the student's sense of personhood and autonomy as an essential motivating factor in itself (Weebly, n.d.). A teacher, then, should model the precise behaviors she wants her student to learn or develop. Critical thinking, for example, can be modelled by the teacher by thinking aloud. When the desired behavior has been learned, the teacher should strengthen it (Weebly).

One impact is the development of a ripple effect (Weebly, n.d.). A student may display a positive or negative behavior as a ripple effect. The teacher should be quick to control the situation in encouraging the positive behavior or discouraging the negative one and replacing it with the positive behavior. It is important for her to be consistent and remain consistent in doing so. She should always call his student's attention to correct behavior (Weebly).

The theory leads the teacher to encourage the student also to learn and practice self-management or self-regulation skills (Weebly, n.d.). She can do this by teaching him behavior analysis, goal-setting, tracing self-progress, and evaluating the consequences of one's own progress. The theory enables the student to learn self-regulation by regularly monitoring, acquiring and reinforcing high standards for himself. He needs the teacher's support and guidance in the task (Weebly).

The theory allows meta-cognitive feedback after a lesson through self-reflection and evaluation of the learning and where improvement is needed (Weebly, n.d.). It provides for multiple approaches in dealing with individual needs, physical environment, social supports, and issues in behavior performance.
Using the theory, the teacher provides prompt feedback, social support and, more importantly, converts the classroom into a modest learning community. In it, she incorporates regular cooperative learning activities, differentiated tasks, and enhance the student's recognition and awareness of his own efficacy (Weebly).

Why We would Closely Identify with I -- Whether in a classroom or community setting, the concept or philosophy of the theory provides the opportunity of maximum learning and teaching, both formally and informally. We become more conscious of both our own strengths and weaknesses and those of others by observing them and ourselves in daily events.

PRE-A1 -Comprehensive Summary of the Theory

It suggests that students learn by observing and by forming traits and habits in and from the environment in which they find themselves (Hurst, 2014). They observe how fellow students participate in class and decide to participate well too. There is, however, a negative side to the theory. Through it, the teacher's own negative behavior can prevent the student from participating and learning and, thus, limit their participation, appreciation and learning of the lesson (Hurst).

Christian Worldview and Approach to Teaching and Learning

A Christian leader has the responsibility of influencing others to obey God's will (McCallum, 2012). This responsibility needs a specific capability in witnessing, teaching, and gathering disciples. The leader, therefore, goes through the learning process about how to form learning quickly and permanently. A Christian should learn how to pray correctly, how to study God's word, how to love others, how to admit committing a sin and other acts. The Christian leader then must know how to dhow and explain these capabilities as well as motivate the learner or listener to do develop these capabilities. When the learner exhibits the desired behavior regularly and volitionally, it can be said that he has learned (McCallum).

PRE-B2 - Instructional Time

PRE-B2 - Individual Development Learning Needs

Two ways are by content enhancement and content evaluation for students with developmental needs (Jordan, 2014). Through content enhancement, the teacher evaluates the content, selects the appropriate approaching to insure learning success, and uses both routines and instructional supports to help the student apply the appropriate method. And through content evaluation, she evaluates the contents as to the importance of the information, its relevance, how the student will use it beyond her class, what parts of the information will the student be able to quickly understand, or for which he will need extra instruction, and the choice of pacing and what evaluations will help the student understand the information (Jordan).

PRE-B3 -- Various Learning Needs

Every person has a unique way of learning and this depends on, as well as requires a particular style of instruction (Giles et al., 2014). Culture, experience and level of development dictate the style. The visual learning style presents information visually through charts, graphs, and other symbols for learners who are usually imaginative. The aural learning style focuses on lessons that are spoken or heard. These learners are exceptional listeners. And reading-ad-writing style is beneficial to learners who use their mind's eye quite well. The teacher uses the blackboard to transmit important points of outlines of lessons (Giles et al.).

PRE-B4 -- Motivating Students to Maximize Learning Time

Principles and strategies for these students include "attention, management of cognitive load, rehearsal in working memory and retrieval of new knowledge from long-term memory. Instructional methods can be used to improve learning by dealing with cognitive load in working memory, activating "encoding into long-term memory," and providing means to support the transfer of learning (Cark & Hamelson, 2002).

PRE-C5 -- Like students and teachers everywhere in the world I learn from the behavior of others. In the classroom, these are specifically the teacher and my classmates and myself.

I can emphasize both in words and in action the significance of the theory to my students and how it benefits and supports our conscious learning, not only in the classroom but also in the world-at-large where learning is a lifetime activity.


Clark, R. And Hamelson, G.L. (2002). Designing instruction that supports cognitive learning processes. Vol. 37, Journal of Athletic Training, PubMed. Retrieved on December 13, 2014 from

Giles, E., et al. (2014).multiple intelligence and learning styles. Creative Commons

Attributions. Retrieved on December 13, 2014 from

Hurst, M. (2014). Social cognitive learning: definition and examples. Education Portal:

Education Portal. Retrieved….....

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