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Social Cognitive Theory

The social cognitive theory applies in practical aspect of education. It goes without saying that what people learn in the classroom setting needs to be put into practice to make it more meaningful. This is especially so when training in practical courses that involve solving real life problems. According to literature, social cognitive theory implies that individuals can acquire knowledge through observation as well as social interaction. Thus, the environment that one lives in will have significant impact in the actual knowledge acquired. In the process of practical training, trainees acquire new skills by observing what their trainers do. Indeed, the theory that they learn does help much because it is only meant to provide a basis for learning the practical course. In the end, it is only the observed skills enable the individuals to work in the field (Dweck & Leggett, 1988).

The nature of knowledge acquired can be modeled using punishments and rewards. This stems from the fact that the social setting has several behaviors that a learner can observe. However, individuals can be motivated to learn certain skills if they are rewarded. Alternatively, individuals can be punished if they adopt behaviors that are not likeable. Eventually, their learning is perfectly modeled in a manner that is socially acceptable. Notably, the role of individual behavior in learning cannot be underestimated. This is called reciprocal causation which implies that personal behavior determines how individuals learn. For instance, a child can only learn how to socialize in school if he or she likes school. This is why strategies of social cognitive theory should be applied based on specific populations. However, it should be noted that learning significantly depends on the role of self-efficacy. This is based on the fact that individuals must first be motivated to learn in order to learn efficiently. For instance, individuals with high level of motivation or self-efficacy are likely to learn better than individuals with low motivation. Similarly, individuals often set limits for their learning way before starting. This is referred to as self-regulated aspect of learning (Bandura, 1986).

In conclusion, social cognitive theory implies that individuals can acquire knowledge through observation as well as social interaction with the environment that they live. In addition, it is based on principles that support the idea of veracious learning in which people pick a model that they wish to imitate in the process of their learning.

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