Four Theories Of Observational Learning

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Observational learning, also known as social learning is the act of learning by watching others. It is not just in mimicking behaviors, but retaining those behaviors and using them as one’s own behavior at a later time (Argosy Course Notes, 2015). For example, a teacher praises a child for getting the correct answer when matching flash cards, another child is observing this and two days later this child is asked to match the cards and correctly places it (Fryling, Johnson & Hayes, 2011). Observational learning happens throughout one’s lifetime, and the most critical time is when a child is discovering the world around him (Argosy Course Notes, 2015). Children learn by the actions of others and some of the benefits that special needs students …show more content…
These four processes are the attentional process in which the learner must pay attention, the retentional process where the learner must obviously retain part of the information that was garnered from the observation. The third is the motor reproductive process in which the learner has to have to have the motor skills to carry out the tasks or behaviors they are modeling. According to Bandura these three processes are all that is needed to be able to obtain the skills to mimic or imitate behaviors, however without the last process of incentive and motivational processes, the capability of the learner will not be seen without the appropriate incentive (Mazur, 2012) “Bandura states that the individual must have an expectation that the performance of this new behavior will produce some type of reinforcement (Mazur, 2012).” The principles of observation can help improve classroom behavior for special needs students by teachers modeling the behavior that they want to see from the students, being animated with verbal behavior and practicing motor skill exercises, paying attention to everything around. Children’s learning style should be observed so that the teachers and aids can develop strategies to teach that child according to his intelligence and his interests (Academia, 2011). By observation, a …show more content…
With distractions from an unruly child or a child with special needs a teacher is taken away from the whole of the class, thus leaving the rest of the children behind. Teacher’s aides are seldom available because of the lack of funding in schools today. So if a teacher has a large class size and one or more child with behavior issues, the time spent actually teaching is rarely productive. The needs of children with disabilities are greater than the needs of nuerotypical children and should be treated as such. Putting special needs children in mainstream education, many times it is just setting them up for failure and they are not receiving the appropriate specialized care that, by law, they are entitled to receive (SEDL, 2015). “These students ' problems are severe, pervasive, and chronic - not minor, situational, or transitory (Academia, 2011).” When a problem behavior is chronic, it is very difficult for a child to learn in a traditional setting, as in schools today most of the instructional time is done by sitting in the seats or on the carpet. Children with special needs are demanding and require much movement from their caregivers and teachers. Mainstreaming special needs children hinders the full benefits of the education for the typical children. Some typical students may not be able to block out the distractions and be able to concentrate enough to do their own work.

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