Learning Theories And Child Learning

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Learning Theories and Child Development

Learning Theories and Child Development

Learning theories

Learning theories come from the study of educational psychology and attempt to describe how people learn. With a learning theory as a foundation, instruction can be structured around making learning most effective. There are several commonly excepted categories of learning theories:

There are many different theories of how people learn. What follows is a variety of them, and it is useful to consider their application to how your students learn and also how you teach in educational programs. It is interesting to think about your own particular way of learning and to recognise that everyone does not learn the way you do.

Burns (1995, p99) 'conceives of learning as a relatively permanent change in behaviour with behaviour including both observable activity and internal processes such as thinking, attitudes and emotions.' It is clear that Burns includes motivation in this definition of learning. Burns considers that learning might not manifest itself in observable behaviour until some time after the educational program has taken place.

Bandura's social learning theory relation with child success

The Social Learning Theory of Bandura emphasises the importance of child observing and modelling the behaviours, attitudes and emotional reactions of others. The Social Learning Theory explains child behaviour in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioural, an environmental influences, suggesting that behaviour can be learned at the cognitive level through observing other people's actions. (Blackburn, 1993) This suggests those children are capable of imagining themselves in similar situations, and of incurring similar outcomes. Once the behaviour is learned it may be reinforced or punished by the consequences it generates. Bandura subscribed to several of the essential concepts of the Operant Conditioning Theory: reinforcement, punishment, and motivation. (Ewen, 1980) Each of these concepts can be used to explain Bandura's initial and prolonged criminal activities.

Due to Bandura dysfunctional childhood and strong negative influences in his life he found himself tempted by criminal activities in his early teens. He was sent to a boy's home when he was fourteen for stealing, and has been in and out of juvenile and adult institutions ever since. In relation to the Social Learning Theory, BAndura was motivated by direct external reinforcement, by the tangible and social status rewards. Due to his upbringing and lack of parental discipline these Bandura thought these rewards easily outweighed the consequences of this criminal actions.

BAndura study in which young children were shown adults interacting with a character called "Bobo Doll" was conducted in order to prove that observation is a primary form of learning. In one film, the adults attacked Bobo, and in another they were friendly to it. One group of children were shown one film another group shown the other.

By the theory of Bandura The adults attacked Bobo in a distinctive manner, they used a hammer as a weapon in some instances and in others threw the doll in the air and shouted "Pow, Boom!". As a result of this violent version of the film, the ...
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