Introduction 2013) He combined aspects of cognitive



Social learning theory

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In this essay
I am going to consider the social learning theory, which stresses the
environments role in development. Banduras social learning theory states
children learn through observation, imitation and modeling, which shows
children pay attention and try to imitate others (Mcleod 2011). He believed in
reciprocal determinism, which states person’s behavior, both influences and is
influenced by the social environment and personal factors. Albert Bandura
suggested that learning through others provided the basis for behaviors like
aggression and altruism. Children learn better when observing those of the same
gender (Furumi and Koyasu, 2013)

He combined
aspects of cognitive and behavioral learning; the social learning theory
incorporates the idea of behaviour reinforcement from society’s reward system
and 4 cognitive processes for social learning. It also describes how children
go through different stages, which can be affected by their intellectual
ability to perceive different things (Hammond, 2013). Also children are
constantly contrasting and learning other children and their models which shows
that social interaction is vital in child development (Sincero, 2011).


The development of children

The theory
considers social context and society as great contributors in the learning
process and development of a child. It tells us children are influenced by
reward and punishment in society and they model their behaviours accordingly. A
child doesn’t repeat Behaviour immediately but first observe the consequences
for the behaviour this is vicarious reinforcement. If an observation is
regularly rewarded then the same behaviour is likely to continue whereas if its
punished its less likely to be repeated. This is show in Albert Banduras
experiment, children were watched when they observed adults attacking dolls.
Additionally children imitated the aggressive Behaviour of the adults and
attacked the doll. However, when the aggressively adults were punished then the
children were less likely to imitate the aggressive Behaviour; thus undesirable
Behaviour should be punished so other children do not learn it (Mcleod, 2011).
However, negative Behaviour can still appeal to a child if it’s positively

Areas of
child development

development consists of explanations a to why the mind operates the way it
does. The Cognitive theory describes how children go through different stages,
which can be affected by their intellectual ability to perceive different
things (Hammond, 2013). The theory can also be applied to encouraging students
to develop their self-efficacy through constructive feedback and confidence
building, which shows behaviour and social ability, is determined through daily
activities and interactions with the models in the environment they are in.
Therefore, interactions of the child in their environment can improve their
social skills. For instance a child who has a aggressive parent may make the
child unintentionally aggressive as that show they learn therefore parents
should be conscientious when dealing with children (Burdick, 2014).

Different perspective

focuses on how a person’s environment bring about changes in their behaviour,
they view the new-born as a “blank slate and we learn everything from our
surroundings. This argument places responsibility of the bad behavior to the
failure of parenting. Behaviourism focuses on the “relationships between
observable events” (Ormrod, 2014, p. 266). People are more likely to learn
behaviours if they think it will elicit a particular response. Skinner made a
Skinner’s Box. It was an operant conditioning chamber. He would place rats
inside the box. There would be switches inside the box, whenever the animals
touched a specific one, food would dispense. Some of the boxes would give
electric shocks; this changed the frequency of responses, which showed peoples
Behaviour can be modified by reinforcement. There was not enough biological
knowledge known about the brain this theory use the Behaviour of an animal as
evidence to demonstrate what was happening in the brain.

Bandura refuted the behaviourist approach as it ignored emotional feeling or
conscious thinking in his explanation. Social interaction can also compel
children to develop concepts that later guide their actions. However by
observing the consequences of actions they can change their concepts and act
differently. Therefore, the individual’s ideas about the stimulus, not the
stimulus itself, control the Behaviour.


Reflect on factors

The cognitive
processes link to the environment of children in school as children are more
motivated to pay attention if there are other around them paying attention. The
environment at home can also influence children for instance being raised in
poverty can have a big influence on children some children think beyond this
and become successful whereas some children continue living their lives in
poverty. They may be materially deprived and be able to afford a nutritional
diet so lack concentration and be unable to imitate behaviour. Behavioural
inheritance is refers to the “patterns of behaviour that are passed on from
generation to generation” (Shweder et al 2006, p. 719). Therefore children
raised in different environment look at the world with different perspectives


Relevance to child development

Children aware
of the social learning theory may be able to fix behavioral conflicts such as
bullying, substance or drug abuse and poor achievement. Behaviour modification
techniques are used today especially for undesirable Behaviour and it impacts
educational practices. Stress management, can be used to show consolidated can
still be changed through positive or negative reinforcement learned from the
social learning theory and by getting the root cause of the behavior (Burdick,
2014). This helps to prepare the individual for a new problem as they apply
their existing knowledge through the social learning theory. The theory is
relevant to child development as it impacts the adults working with the
children. Adults provide a role model to children, and they influence their
behaviour. For example if a child has an adult smokes then the child may learn
his behaviour. The intrigued child wants know what the positive consequences of
smoking are.


Impact on adults working with children

If a child does a negative behaviour then it must be
rectified by being negatively reinforced immediately, which prevents them from
doing this in the future. To increase behaviour management in a classroom, a
behaviourist would say to increase the amount of feedback that is being given.
When a student behaves a certain way, giving them feedback will aid them in
learning and understanding appropriate ways of conducting themselves. Feedback
also involves punishment, such as scolding and time outs (Ormrod, 2014). Social
cognitive theory also incorporates many ideas from like reinforcement and






































Cognitive development

In this paper
I am going to discuss the cognitive perspective which primarily concentrates,
on how children perceive and solve problems. The cognitive
perspective says the structure of the memory results in how children process,
store, perceive and retrieve information learned from the environment. Thus for
children to learn there must be motivation (Tucker & Harden, 2014).
Cognitive development can be explained by acquisition construction and gradual
change in thought processes such as decision making that occurs from childhood
to adulthood (in Smith, P.K., Cowie, H & Blades, M. 2003).

differences can explain the increasing difference in cognitive outcomes as
children age (Carlson and Wiedl, 2013). Cognitive development explains the
construction of thought processes, including problem solving, remembering and
decision-making. It also refers to how a person perceives and gains
understanding of their world through genetic and learned factors. It was
thought that infants lacked the ability to form complex ideas and didn’t have
cognition until they learned language. Now it’s a known that babies are aware
of their surroundings and interested in exploration. From birth, babies begin
learning. They gather and process information that’s around.


The development of children

The theory
states child development may be influenced by social interactions with
different parenting behavior for maximum cognitive abilities. This suggests
that in order for a child to develop high cognitive abilities the environment
to which matters a lot (Ojose, 2008. Piaget came up with four stages of
development that reflect the child’s change in understanding and learning about
the world and describes the nature of knowledge and how children construct,
acquire and use the knowledge. Although He envisioned a child’s knowledge as
composed of schemas, basic units of knowledge used to organize past experiences
and serve as a basis for understanding new ones. A schema is a set of linked
mental processes, which we use both to understand and respond to situations.
Accommodation and assimilation refers to the process of retaining new
information by incorporating it to an existing schema. Accommodation is when
the schema changes according to new knowledge. Piaget says cognitive
development is the ongoing process of trying to achieve a balance between
assimilation and accommodation that is equilibration.



Child development relevance

Piaget theory
is relevant to the cognitive theory, which shows how children go through
different stages that can be affected by their intellectual ability to
recognise different things (Hammond, 2013). He concluded that if the child gave
the wrong answer then that indicated their thinking process was different but
it doesn’t mean their intellectual abilities were lower.


Different perspective

Lev Vygotsky
describes the zone of proximal development, which is the ideal level of adult
assistance that a child requires to learn a new skill. Like Piaget, Vygotsky
stressed the importance of play in learning new cognitive skills and believed
that play improves social development. Play becomes the vehicle in which
children learn and internalise social rules, that develops their relationships
with others (Vygotsky, 1978).


theory states a child requires information as he develops however Vygotsky’s
theory indicates that children need social cues from the adults in order to
develop. . Vygotsky’s theory suggests three ways in which learning is passed
along to an individual. Firstly Imitative learning is where the child copies
another person. Secondly instructed learning is where a child recalls
directions from a teacher and then reproduces it. Thirdly collaborative
learning occurs when a peer group cooperates to achieve a specific goal while
working to understand and learn from one another.


However a
criticism is Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory doesn’t apply to all cultural and
social groups. Some social groups may be unable to grasp the same meaning from
teaching thus they are not on a equal level with other learner. Also
participation may vary from one learner to another hence the inequality for
each learner. Also there are differences in the difficulty of work set which
makes learning constraints. Learners with learning disabilities or difficulties
might not gain the same meaning from group interactions compared to those
learners without learning disabilities or learning difficulties (Lui &
Matthews, 2005, p. 392).



Reflect on factors

believes social interaction not only leads to increased levels of knowledge but
also actually changes a child’s behaviors and thoughts. Social exposure to
various cultures expands a child’s knowledge. The more experiences the child
has, the richer their cultural capital becomes. Developmental advancements are
dependent upon the people and the cultural tools provided for children that
help them to form their perceptions of the world. Also adults act as skilled
tutors and representatives for the culture, they may assist the child in
solving problems. Therefore participation in cultural and social activities
facilitates the development of cognitive and social abilities (Rogoff, 2003).
Whereas children who less readily participate in potentially challenging
interactions may have low levels of social initiative (Asendorf, 1990)


relevance to child development?

This theory
is relevant to child development as schools transmit information to students.
In contrast, Vygotsky’s theory promotes active learning. Thus teachers should
collaborate with the students to help facilitate meaning construction in
students. Learning becomes a reciprocal experience for the students and

Parents can
affect development by integrating stimulating learning materials in the
environment at an early age for exploration (Yilmaz, 2011). Parents can support
or challenge the development of the child although a supportive environment,
which may be an advantage to the child primarily at an early, and not a late
age so parents have a greater role in child development (Woodward, 1982).


Impact on
adults working with children

Parents play
a great role in the learning development, for example a nationwide study by the
centre for longitudinal studies (2007) found that by the age of three, children
from disadvantaged backgrounds are already up to one year behind. Parents with
a higher cultural capital are able to help their child to grasp and express
abstract ideas.

suggests children learn most effectively when given opportunities to explore
through ‘discovery learning’ (Hansen, 2012 p.59). This theory is based on the
idea that by applying past experience and existing knowledge allows children to
learn through exploration of their surroundings. He believed the role of adults
such as teachers working with children is to provide a stimulating environment
for learning with various challenging activities as opposed to an adult led
learning environment.