Adopting the Role of the Learner, Provide a Critical Comparison, Overview and Justification of How Social and/or Cognitive Learning Theory Both Informed and Was Applied Within Two Teaching/Learning Episodes You’ve

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Cognitive learning is based on how students process new information in a way that makes it meaningful to them. Fitts and Posner (1967) describe this as a three stage theory to cognitive learning. These three stages include cognitive, associative and autonomous. The cognitive stage is when the student is given verbal instruction on the task in hand which includes the student to use personal perception and decision making how to perform the skill correctly. The second stage, associative being when the skill is repetitively performed to correctly perform the task. And the final stage when the performance can be altered due to both positive and negative influences. This includes stress, distraction, advice or motivation.

Social learning theory is based on how students perceive others when relating to performance skills. James et.al (2003) describes social learning as observing and copying their actions. An example of this is a coach demonstrating a skill move in a session and the class having to copy that movement as they perceived it. However, James et.al (2003) continues by explaining that not only is this related to coaching. An example of this theory outside of coaching could be that a child may see a professional football player on the television argue with a referee and they would see this as the right thing to do being a role model.

It is also possible to combine the two theories creating the Social Cognitive Theory. This theory includes that the amount of attention, retention, reproduction and motivation can affect learning. (Bandura, 1977) he states that if not enough attention is put in, learning will not take place or not be as efficient due to not enough information taken in. the amount of practice will also play a role due to if the students did not have enough time to practice the skill, they would not be able to perfect the skill and have a lower performance level. And the level of motivation also plays a part in this theory. If the student is not motivated to practice the skill, the level of effort will also decrease and will also prevent further learning to take place.

Looking at both social and cognitive theories, they seem accurate as it is true that learning can take place via verbally and democratically. These can be implied into coaching episodes either one or the other or together. For example, a coach could give an oral explanation how to perform a skill and present a demonstration how to perform the described skill. However, Bandura’s Social Cognitive theory is more accurate as it also includes other outside factors that could affect learning, in the environment and the student personally, therefore, creating more of an accurate outlook on education.

A coaching episode was prepared. The coaching episodes aim for the group was to, work as a team to try and work out different ways of completing multiple tasks without instruction. As the participants were mostly working out how to accomplish tasks themselves, many more social theories were associated to the session. The session was planned, the coaches knew that one or more of these theories had to be included and focused on. When choosing to work on social learning, a list of team building activities were chosen to work on teamwork and discover ways to complete tasks through communication.

Knowing that most of the group participated in team sports at fairly high levels, this would also be a test for team cohesion working as a task cohesion team. Weinburg and Gould (1995) quotes task cohesion as “members of a group work together to achieve a common goal” for example, a team playing against another would work together as a team towards beating the opponent and winning the match. In the session, the teams would be working together to complete the task before the others.

There are six main theories of learning styles. These include behaviourism, constructivism, connectivism, situated learning, social constructivism and activity theory. Due...
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