Bandura’s Social-Cognitive Theory
The social-cognitive theory proposed by Albert Bandura (1925- ) has become the most influential theory of learning and development. It considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling. This theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences. The four-step pattern of observational learning consists of: (1) Attention, must be aware of the model; (2) Retention, ability of storing information which can be pulled up later and acted on; (3) Reproduction, must replicate the modeled behavior at some time; and (4) Motivation, must have some desire to perform modeled behavior. Bandura’s theory improves upon the behavioral interpretation of modeling provided by Miller and Dollard (1941). Bandura’s work is related to the theories of Vygotsky and Lave which emphasizes the central role of social learning. Classroom Aspects
Social-cognitive theory provides a foundation for improving students’ learning in the classroom. Students should be provided with models that the teacher expects them to learn. More specifically, instruction should support students’ engagement in each of the four-step pattern of observational learning. Students pay more attention to skills and materials if they are personally related to their own experiences. Students’ intention can be facilitated by using graphic organizers and other learning strategies. Teachers should support the motivational aspects by using rewards and punishments. This will shape the students’ behavior when they are provided either to the learner or to a model. To improve motivation, teachers should model attitudes that they want students to adopt such as being interested in the material.
Instruction should help students to see the learning leads to personally value and or important outcomes. Students must know if they...
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