Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) falls under behaviorism which is intended to explain why animals and humans act a certain way. SCT can be found everyday in the classroom but also simply at home. For example, in the classroom a teacher may use modeling to show a student how to complete a math problem. The student observes the teacher and watches what the teacher does. Then the student completes a similar math problem by modeling after and learning from the teacher. At home, a younger child observes everything and everyone around him. He will emulate anything an adult or older sibling does. The child learns from watching others.
The processes of observational learning are very important for a teacher to understand. Attention, Retention, Production and Motivation are all essential concepts for a productive classroom. The teacher must first gain the attention of the students. Then the teacher focuses on educating so that the student retains the information he or she is taught. The student is asked to create a product to show mastery of the assignment and the student must be motivated through the entire process to learn.
I truly believe in SCT and use in my classroom. I do use the hands-on approach to teaching and think that my students benefit from it. I also encourage them to watch other students and help one another. By observing their peers, they can often learn in a way that I may not be able to teach them. How have you used Social Cognitive Theory in your classroom? How about at home?