The purpose of this paper is to discuss a learning theory with application to a teaching-learning situation in health care. This paper will focus on the social learning theory and its application to the teaching-learning process in nursing. I will explore a clear definition of the theory and present the main concepts. Lastly, I will apply my knowledge of the social learning theory by describing how I use it in a health care setting when educating student nurses during senior practicum.
Definition of the Social Learning Theory and its Contributor
The social learning theory suggests that people learn new behaviors through observation of factors in their environment, by taking note of other’s behavior and the consequence of that behavior. Observing a desired result makes the learner more likely to adopt a behavior to seek that result. This does not necessarily mean that the learner needs a direct experience to learn, but rather just taking notice of another’s behavior they can learn by what happens to that person (Bastable, 2008).
Albert Bandura, a Canadian psychologist, is known as the originator of the social learning theory. During his early research, Bandura examined the foundations of human learning and the tendency of children and adults to model their own behavior on behavior observed in others. He found that “learning is often a social process, and other individuals, especially significant others, provide compelling examples or role models for how to think, feel, and act” (Bastable, 2008, p. 67). He termed this “role modeling”. Bastable defines role modeling as “the use of self as a role model...whereby the learner acquires new behaviors and social roles by identification with the role model” (2008, p. 634). In his book, Social Learning Theory (1977), Bandura argues that most human behavior is learned through observing others and that it could be potentially hazardous for individuals to learn by relying only... [continues]
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