Monday, April 20, 2020

The Use of Banduras Social Learning Theory in Schools free essay sample

One of the central tenants of Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, which is also called Social Cognitive Theory, is that â€Å"aggression in children is influenced by the reinforcement of family members, the media, and the environment† (Bandura, 1975, pp. 206-208). Evans (1989) suggested that the basis for Bandura’s theories came from work completed by researchers Miller and Dollard (1941) who suggested that human development is actively influenced by â€Å"response consequences† (Evans, 1989, p. 4), but regardless of the impetus for Bandura’s work, he is most known for his work regarding aggression in children. This paper will focus on why the principles of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory will benefit leaders in school environments as they address behavioral problems from a human development perspective One of the most famous experiments Bandura is credited with is the Bobo doll experiment. This experiment examines Bandura’s theory that aggression has three aspects—how the aggression develops, what provokes the behavior and what elements determine that an individual would resort to aggressive behavior in a similar situation in the future. We will write a custom essay sample on The Use of Banduras Social Learning Theory in Schools or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page While conducting this experiment, Bandura had a group of children watch a video where an actress is attacking a plastic clown. The aggressive behavior shown includes the actress punching the doll, hitting it with objects and hurling it around the room (Bandura, 1976). Next, these children were placed in a room that had similar toys shown in the video, but they were not allowed to touch the toys. Consequently, the children became upset with this restriction and after a length of time, the researchers found that 88% of the children exhibited the same aggressive behavior witnessed on the video. What is more disturbing is that eight months later a resounding 40% of the same group of children exhibited aggressive behaviors that were similar to their previous conduct (Isom, 1998). The Social Learning Theory suggests that humans learn through direct and vicarious reinforcement. Bandura proposed the construct of self-efficacy as a powerful mediator influencing which learned behaviors we actually attempt and continue. Therefore, from a human developmental perspective, the self-efficacy characteristic can aid students in comprehending the link between current behavior and future consequences (Evans, 1989). Bandura also noted that there were four distinct processes that influence a child’s behavior – attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation. During the attention phase, a child will observe behaviors conducted around them and if this attention is thorough enough, the child will absorb the reactions and reasons for the aggressive behavior modeled. Bandura believed that the second stage, retention, is also vitally important because it is this re-enactment that causes the behavior to be transferred to the long-term memory of the child. Of course, even if the child has memorized the actions, they still need to have the physical attributes necessary to reproduce an action they have seen, but there is little physical dexterity needed to hit or punch something (Isom, 1998). The final phase of this process is the motivation for the behavior. In Bandura’s experiment the children observed an adult praised for behaving badly, and this is enough, under Bandura’s theory, to cement those actions into a repeatable response by the child at a later stage. Bandura believes this theory also supports the rise in the number of aggressive teens in high crime areas (Isom, 1998). It is this correlation between witnessed behaviors and witnessed consequences that could prove the most valuable to leaders attempting to solve problems in a school environment. If Bandura’s theory is accurate, then it is logical to assume that a manipulation of the data processes could also be true, in that the children in Bandura’s experiment only exhibited aggressive behavior after they witnessed the positive consequences the behavior caused for the actress in the video. Therefore, an extension of the old adage good things happen to good people might be utilized with positive results amongst the more aggressive children in the classroom. This theory will inevitably aid leaders in solving behavior problems from a human development perspective. Although there is no evidence that Bandura conducted follow up studies that measured the level of aggression shown in children after watching an adult berated or punished for their violent actions, it is plausible to expect that it is the confirmation aspect of the behavior that might be more influential on children as opposed to the aggressive behavior in isolation. Even from a young age, a child might exhibit a form of behavior that might be innovative, but it is the reaction the child receives from that pattern of behavior that sets the model of behavior as a response to certain actions. Therefore, if school leaders utilize Bandura’s theory in the academic environment, we can diminish aggressive behaviors and nurture positive and constructive individuals. References Bandura, A. (1975). Social learning and personality development: NJ: Holt, Rinehart Winston, Inc. Bandura, A. , Ribes-Inesta, E. (1976). Analysis of delinquency and aggression. NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates, Inc. Evans, R. I. (1989). Albert Bandura: The man and his ideas, NY: Praeger. Isom, M. D. (1998, November 30). The social learning theory. Retrieved March 3, 2005, from http://www. criminology. fsu. edu/crimtheory/bandura. htm. Miller Dollard. (1941). Social learning and imitation. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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