**Please refer to Lesson Plan #8 and Lesson Plan #9 for recommended class discussion, class activities, and homework assignments that utilize the following theories while addressing the issue of Violence in America.**
Lesson Plan #8: Racism and The Hate U Give
Social Cognitive Theory in its most basic form can be defined as learning through observation. Albert Bandura, the founder of this widely accepted theory postulated that “personality results from the interaction of an individual’s thoughts with inner qualities, self-beliefs, and environmental cues” (Learning and the Adolescent Mind). He calls these traits self-efficacy, which is similar to self-esteem. Bandura states, “’We find that people's beliefs about their efficacy affect the sorts of choices they make in very significant ways. In particular, it affects their levels of motivation and perseverance in the face of obstacles. Most success requires persistent effort, so low self-efficacy becomes a self-limiting process… To succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, strung together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life’” (Learning and the Adolescent Mind). There is no doubt that self-esteem plays a huge role in the learning success or failure of students.
In a journal article titled “Organizational Applications of Social Cognitive Theory” for the Australian Journal of Management, Bandura further defines self-efficacy: “People’s beliefs in their capabilities affect how much stress and depression they experience, as well as the activities they choose to pursue, and the level of their motivation. People who believe they can deal with difficult tasks and situations are not upset by them. Those who believe they cannot manage difficult situations experience much stress … they see situations as full of obstacles” (Bandura, 1988, p.284). It is easy for a person to disbelieve in themselves if they are treated poorly or abused in any way.
Racism, discrimination and bullying are among the most detrimental acts against a person’s self-efficacy. Putting a fellow student down in any way can have a huge impact on their motivation to continue participating as an equal in the classroom. “Continuing research in self-efficacy by Bandura and others demonstrates that, regardless of previous achievement or ability, students with higher self-efficacy work harder, continue to try for longer, persevere when faced with struggle, are more optimistic and less anxious, and achieve greater results” (Learning and the Adolescent Mind). Despite a student’s aptitude to learn and their prior success, they may fail in circumstances where they feel repressed, disliked, hated, inferior or unequal in any way.
For Bandura all of learning is based on the observation of others or “models”: “In society, children are surrounded by many influential models, such as parents within the family, characters on children’s TV, friends within their peer group and teachers at school. These models provide examples of behavior to observe and imitate” (MacLeod, 2016). It is important to note that students not only learn in the classroom, but in every place they go; in every aspect of their lives. The influences of racism, discrimination and bullying can enter their lives through many avenues, not just through the road leading to the classroom. It is important for teachers to know this and to take external pressures and influences into account when gauging the success of the learner. References Albert Bandura. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://learningandtheadolescentmind.org/people_06.html Bandura, A. (1988). Organisational Applications of Social Cognitive Theory.Australian Journal of Management (University Of New South Wales), 13(2), 275. Mcleod, S. (2016). Social Learning Theory. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html
Lesson Plan #9: Lawlessness and Social Learning Theory Motivation to learn is an important concept to consider when developing a lesson plan on any topic. Extrinsic rewards and punishments always are a motivation that affects behavior (Bransford, Brown, Cocking. Donovan, and Pellegrino, 2000), but Dweck (as cited in Bransford et al., 2000) also suggest that “learners’ tendencies to persist in the face of difficulty are strongly affected by whether they are ‘performance oriented’ or “learning oriented” (p. 61). Thus, for this lesson, the activity will include extrinsic rewards and be both performance oriented and learning oriented. Additionally, the activity will also illustrate the four perspectives on learning environments (Bransford et al., 2000): learner centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered. It is the intent of this lesson plan to determine what students already know coming into the lesson (learner centered), teach students more about the principals teachers want them to focus on and really understanding through (knowledge centered), provide students with feedback at the end of the lesson (assessment centered), and to allow students the opportunity to engage and learn from other students within their classroom community to accomplish task (community centered) (Bransford et al., 2000). By observing students during the activity, the teacher will also assess students’ zone of proximal development. Vygotsky (as cited in Bransford et al., 2000) identified the zone of proximal development as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (p. 81). The teacher will see how students approach the activity and if their “success” increases when they obtain assistance from classmates. Lastly, this lesson’s class activity will illustrate Bandura’s (as cited in McLeod, 2016) concept of observational learning, wherein students will be assigned task with very little direction. The teacher will watch students to see if they are watching others behaviors and are imitating behavior. Bandura (as cited in McLeod, 2016) found that “if a child imitates a model’s behavior and the consequences are rewarding, the child is likely to continue performing the behavior”. However, this is not done without thought. The observer goes through a four step meditational process when determining if he or she should imitate someone’s behavior: 1) attention, 2) retention, 3) reproduction, and 4) motivation (McLeod, 2016). Bandura (as cited in McLeod, 2016) emphasized observational learning, in what he came to find as Social Learning Theory. Through observational learning, children watch other’s behavior and pay attention to the reinforcement received in response to the person’s behavior (McLeod, 2016). Children then decide to behave in a way they feel will “earn approval” and receive positive rewards (McLeod, 2016). However, Bandura states that the imitation does not occur immediately, but after meditational processes, at which time they decide if they are going to imitate the behavior or not (as cited in McLeod, 2016). Due to the “cognitive control over our behavior” that Bandura (as cited in McLeod, 2016) concluded people had to ultimately control their behavior, Social Learning Theory was renamed Social Cognitive Theory in 1986. The classroom activity will emphasize observing and imitating other’s behaviors to either obtain the positive outcome the other received or to avoid the negative outcome, which is a key component of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and Social Cognitive Theory (as cited in McLeod). Although tasks within the lesson will be practically lawless students will be goal oriented. Being goal oriented helps them try to survive because according to Bransford et al. (2000), “Humans are viewed as goal-directed agents who actively seek information…This, in turn, affects their abilities to remember, reason, solve problems, and acquire new knowledge” (p. 10). Students’ responses and actions to the classroom activity will hopefully support Bransford et al.’s (2000) conclusion that “children are both problem solvers and problem generators” (p. 112). References Bransford, J., Brown, A.L, Cocking, R. R., Donovan, M.S., and Pellegrino, J. W. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/read/9853/chapter/1#ix Collins, S. (2008). The hunger games.New York, NY: Scholastic Press. McLeod, S. A. (2016). Bandura: Social learning theory. Simplypsychology.org. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html