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Social Cognitivism

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Scott Acornley

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Social Cognitivism

("4th Grade, Canoga Park," n.d. Retrieved at 05:30 - 06:30)
- Example of Reciprocal Causation

- "People and their environments mutually influence each other" (Ormrod, 2014, p. 300).

- "Behavior becomes increasingly self-regulated" (Ormrod, 2014, p. 301).

- "Several learners of equal ability might collectively regulate a learning task, perhaps in a cooperative group activity" (Ormrod, 2014, p. 321).

Example of Theory (05:30 - 06:30)
Another lesson alternative is to create an authentic, small group activity instead of large group discussion.

The teacher could break the class into small groups, and create a hypothetical scenario: they must write a letter to a Pen Pal in China. However, each student has a different period of history by which they are constrained: one group will have a period before the Printing Press, another a period when the Printing Press was invented, and the last group would have the modern computer age. The different groups must actually write a letter, using the writing tools of the period (which the teacher provides) and research the method to send the letter within the constraints of their period's technology. The groups report back to the entire class on how they would both write and send the letter. This could lead to a larger discussion on the implications of the technology, especially in the light of larger, mass productions of written material.

This lesson may show the limitations and strengths of different forms of communication, and the powerful effect that the printing press has on students today. It also supports the Social Cognitive theory where students "take on different responsibilities and monitor one another's progress" (Ormrod, 2014, p. 321).
Lesson Redesign
Learning from the Social Cognitive Theory perspective is understood to include both social and cognitive aspects, with one of its main assumptions asserting that individuals learn by observing social conduct and conventions via
(Ormrod, 2014, p. 300) who act as sort of a
social informer
to help learners retain certain behaviors that have beneficial outcomes and surrender other behaviors that are of no advantage socially (Ormrod, 2014, p. 300).
Theory Summary
Social Cognitive Theory
The Social Cognitive theory is a perspective that observes how individual learning is affected by observing and experiencing social interactions. Click on the above cells to understand the theory from Jeanne Ormrod's (2014) perspective, examples of the theory in practice from the video, "4th Grade, Canoga Park," and alternative lessons developed through the lens of Social Cognitivism.
As the
Think, Pair, Share
instructional activity in the "4th Grade Canoga Park" video illustrates, the Canoga Park students’ discussion of the printing press was an opportunity for them to adopt constructive techniques that promote “collaborative group discussions” as modeled by their teacher (Canoga Park, 00:18-00:41 & 01:16-01:20). The teacher indicated that he wanted his students to “listen and respond to each other’s ideas about the passage from the text” (02:48-02:54). The teacher’s implementation of the
Think, Pair, Share
instructional activity supports one of the theory’s main assumptions that individuals learn by imitating others (Ormrod, 2014, p. 306).

Ormrod (2014) asserts that “children may adopt one another’s strategies for conducting discussions, perhaps learning how to solicit one another’s opinions … express agreement or disagreement … and justify a point of view” (p. 306). The
Think, Pair, Share
activity illustrates Ormrod’s example perfectly—“So, you might be in agreeance [sic] with what they say. You might be in disagreeance [sic] with what they say. You might just want to extend what somebody has said” (03:33-03:36). Therefore, the inclusion of modeling and imitating in this instructional activity clearly supported students’ learning and the acquisition of “productive interpersonal behaviors” (p. 306).

Example of Theory
Lesson Objective
Using the
Think, Pair, Share
strategy, students will develop an understanding of the various effects of the printing press to society through small and large group discussion.
Given that
Think, Pair, Share
is a type of cooperative learning strategy (SERC, 2012, August 21), the proposed lesson redesign will substitute one cooperative learning strategy for another, i.e., the
learning strategy (SERC, 2012, August 21). With the learning objective in mind, students will be split into four groups to discuss the printing press and its effect on society by examining the following concepts: time, ease of use, accessibility, and communication.

To support the understanding of conceptual knowledge, the development of student metacognitive knowledge, and learning from their peers, students will be divided into four groups. Before having students use the jigsaw approach, it would be important for the teacher to model for the class what the students are to do while in their jigsaw groups. For instance, the teacher can address a fifth question and share thinking processes. During this modeling the teacher can make explicit the thinking behind why certain concepts/information should be shared with others.

Lesson Redesign
The Cognitive Processes involved are:
- Analyzing conceptual knowledge
- Understanding conceptual knowledge
- Understanding and executing procedural knowledge
- Understanding metacognitive knowledge
(Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001)


Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001).
A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives: Abridged edition
. New York: Longman.

Ormrod, J. E. (2014).
Educational psychology: Developing learners
(8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. (2012, August 21).
Starting point-teaching entry level geoscience: Cooperative learning techniques
. Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/techniques.html

University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education (Producer). (n.d.). 4th Canoga Park. [Video]. Available from https://www.2sc.usc.edu

WETA Public Broadcasting. (2014).
Reading rockets: Jigsaw
. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/jigsaw

Other factors that influence learning are motivation and self-regulation (Ormrod, 2014, pp. 300-301), both of which significantly impact an individual’s cognitive processes. This theoretical perspective also maintains that both the individual and the environment have a reciprocal relationship with one another (Ormrod, 2014, p. 300), and, as such, explains how such behaviors and cognitive processes, i.e., modeling (Ormrod, 2014, p. 304), self-efficacy (Ormrod, 2014, p. 308), and self-regulation (Ormrod, 2014, p. 314) are developed within an individual.
The strength of this theory lies in the recognition that both reinforcement and punishment can have either a positive or negative impact on learning.

However, since the brain’s internal cognitive processes are not understood within the context of developmental stages (Ormrod, 2014, p. 29), a limitation of this theory lies in the exclusion of developmental trends to explain learning.
University of Southern California
Rossier School of Education
EDUC 518 Section # 27962
Dr. Susanne M. Foulk
Social Cognitive Theory TAP
Scott Acornley & Neva Paige
The group questions will be as follows:

Group 1: “One passage of the text refers to a ‘change.’ What change is the passage talking about, and how has that change affected or influenced our world today?” (03:25-03:33)

Group 2: “Today we don’t use the printing press. Why is it important for us to communicate easier? Why didn’t we keep it the way it was?” (10:09- 10:31)

Group 3: “Why is it important to speed up communication? Why is it important to have communication available to us?” (10:31-10:36)

Group 4: “The ability to communicate has helped us in dangerous situations, situations where we need to be able to communicate quickly. How does the ability to communicate across the country and the world … help you as a person? (12:09-12:52).

After each group has discussed their respective questions, students will separate from their original group, interspersing with students from the other groups. Acting as a “representative” of their group (SERC, 2012, August 21), each student will share his/her group's response to the question and the various concepts their group discussed. Then, the entire class would reconvene so students could share their expertise by addressing and discussing each of the four questions.

This proposed lesson redesign supports the development of self-efficacy, because as Ormrod (2014) illustrates, “learners can often think more intelligently and acquire a more complex understanding of a topic when they collaborate with peers to master and apply classroom subject matter” (p. 313).
Further, cognitive processes in one’s mind are intangible functions that don’t always correlate with behavior. Even though observable behavior can suggest that learning has occurred in some instances, this theoretical perspective proposes that behavior should not be taken as “fixed evidence” to support whether learning has or has not occurred.
Social Cognitive Theory
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