Free Book Review About The Book Also Makes Mention Of Maintenance And Elaborative Rehearsal.
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In the book, Learning Theories: an Educational Perspective, Dale H. Schunk sees social cognitive theory as a psychological, communication and educational model of behavior which is attributed to Albert Bandura. The social cognitive theory postulates that the acquisition of a portion of the knowledge that belongs to an individual is directly relatable to observations from social intercourse: experiences, social interaction, and the influence and operations of the media
The book also discusses the social learning theory, as being attributable to Bandura. Fully known as Albert Bandura (b. 4 December, 1925), Bandura is the psychologist behind the social learning theory. This social learning theory has it that individuals learn from others through imitation, observation and modeling. This theory has always been perceived to be the bridge between behaviorism and cognitive learning theories due to its inclusivity of paying attention, the use of memory and motivation. In this theory, learning is underpinned by the four main factors which are: attention, retention, reproduction and motivation.
Schunk also acknowledges the importance of observation in learning, in his Bobo Doll Experiment. The same Albert Bandura mentioned immediately above is the figure behind the Bobo Doll Experiment which took place in 1961. The Bobo Doll experiments tried to add credibility to the idea that all human behavior is learned through social observation and imitation, in lieu of being inherited through genetic factors. In this experiment, Bandura carefully observed the behavior of children, following these children’s observation of an aggressive behavior towards a Bobo doll by an adult. Although there were variations of the experiment such as the issuance of rewards and the meting out of punishment, yet the behavior that the children exhibited were similar. Those who had watched violence towards the Bobo doll became aggressive while those who viewed friendly gestures exhibited similar tendencies.
Schunk also acknowledges the principle of reciprocal causation in learning. Reciprocal causation refers to a theory that is advanced by sociologists and educationalists who argue that when two events influence each other simultaneously, they cause reciprocal causation. This theory is also used to explain social learning theory. This theory is also attributed to Albert Bandura who made this postulation, based on John Dollard and Neal Miller’s initial work, triadic reciprocal causatio. This is seen in the instance where one driver uses the wrong lane, causing his counterpart in an oncoming vehicle to panic before they both eventually crush.
According to Schunk, the theory of modeling states that there is a process of learning and acquiring information, skills, behavior or information through observation; and not trial-and-error efforts or direct experience. These processes include retention of details, reproduction and motivation and opportunity. Retention of details is the attempt to decipher and recall what the model has done. Reproduction refers to the observer’s attempt to replicate the behavior that is being observed. The learner or observer should also have the motivation to perform an action which they have observed and are now remembering.
Schunk sees the dual-store memory model as a dual memory theory which states that memory comprises a 2-stage process which consists of long-term and short-term memory. This theory is assertive on the processes that are involved in input of information in the sensory register and how short-term and long-term memory functions. Other components of memorization in the theory include the capacity of the sensory register, the form of information, the duration of the object being memorized in the sensory register, the reality of the Short Term Memory, the reality of the Working Memory and the reality of the Long-Term Memory.
Chunking is presented in the book as a phenomenon in learning and psychology in which individuals or people group responses together when actively memorizing a task. The two main forms of chunking include free and serial recall tasks, as is always seen in tests or exams. In both serial and free recall tasks, there is the need to have the individuals reproduce what he had been assigned to study. The reproduction can be in digits, letters, words or syllables.
Maintenance rehearsal refers to repeating the stimuli over and over so as to remember them. This is usually used in rote memorization. On the other hand, an elaborate rehearsal manages or organizes stimuli into meaningful components for deeper processing and better memory recollection. Elaborative rehearsal is attributed to psychologists, Craik and Lockhart.
The book also makes mention of different types of memory that are used in learning. Episodic memory is memory that is acquired from experiences and particular events from which people reconstruct actual events that materialized at a certain point of life.
Semantic memory has more structured records of facts, concepts, meanings and knowledge (on the external world) which have been acquired. This refers to general factual knowledge that has been shared with a social circle. The same refers to knowledge gained from the independence of personal experience and the temporal or spatial contexts in which such knowledge was acquired.
Also known as the knowing how, procedural memory on the other hand refers to the unconscious memory of knowledge or skills and the manner in which the skills are used to perform tasks, specifically movements of the body and objects of movement.
Schunk also in the book, makes mention of two different types of knowledge as implicit and explicit knowledge. Explicit memory refers to (the memorization of) information that has been consciously learned, stored and interacted with, for mental recollection. Implicit memory on the other hand is (the memorization of) information that is remembered effortlessly and unconsciously.
Also known as short-term memory, spread of activation is a model that is used in working memory. Schunk points out that spread of activation as a model explains the mind processes that are related to ideas, particularly, verbal and semantic concepts. Spread of activation is also used by educationalists and psychologists to explain priming effects of memorization.
Schunk also makes mention of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a theory by Jean Piaget (b. 1896-1980), and it explains the reality, nature and development of human intelligence. The theory focuses on adaptation, perception and the manipulation of the surrounding environment. According to this theory, children construct their understanding of their world before experiencing discrepancies between their constructive understanding of the world and the real environment.
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development has had its own implications. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development has led to the classification and systematization of ages of learning into classrooms or grades. This is because Piaget’s theory of cognitive development classifies stages of children’s cognitive development into ages. It is for this reason that education is divided into four main levels: pre-school, elementary, high school and tertiary.
Apart from Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, there is Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural Model. Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural Model or theory states that every function of a child’s socio-cultural development takes place twice: it first takes place at the social level (this is known as the inter-psychological level) before proceeding to the individual level (intra-psychological level). This is applicable as far as logical memorization, voluntary attention and formation and conceptualization of concepts. Higher functions and their manifestations (such as cultural tools and language) proceed from this point.
One of the implications of Vygotsky for education is that as a model, it is presented by Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural theory is important in that it has inspired the formation of educational and extra-curricular activities as important parts of children’s development.
There is an important role that motivation plays in learning. Schunk divides motivation into two: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation takes place when people are motivated into performing or engaging in an activity, so as to either earn a reward or to escape punishment. Studying to attain good grades, taking part in sports to sports to win an award or taking part in a contest to win a scholarship are some of the examples extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation involves taking part in an act or behavior since it is personally rewarding. The activity is partaken of for its own sake, and not an external reward.
Apart from the aforementioned theory of learning, there is Hull’s drive theory. Hull’s drive theory is a learning and motivational theory that is attributed to Clark Hull. The theory bifurcates drives into primary and secondary aspects. The primary drives are natural and unchangeable. Biological drives are examples of primary drives. Secondary drives are acquired or learned through conditioning such as rewards. When an individual faces multiple needs simultaneously, he experiences multiple drives.
According to Schunk, the reality of needs may also underpin learning. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory by Abraham Maslow wherein Maslow explains man’s innate curiosity and exploits according to the hierarchy of needs: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization needs. People may read for self-actualization while others may do so because they consider it necessary part of human life.
According to Schunk, differentiating experts from novices is possible since experts have extensive knowledge at their disposal. It is this extensive knowledge which helps the expert to make meaning out of their environment and to organize themselves or their work, as opposed to the novice.
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