Behaviorism and Sociocultural: Learning Experiences Through Both Theories

“To agree or not to agree?” That is the question. Reviewing the four basic theories located in the Child Development textbook, appear to be quite different. Though I agree to all four theories, only two I can speak from life experiences that are proven to me to be valid. The two theories I strongly feel that I can relate to through my experiences growing up is the Social Learning process under Behaviorism and the Sociocultural Theory. Both of these theories have the influences from all surroundings that make learning and growing either a memory to remember or a memory to forget. Summarized below are the theories that I agree to, why I do and how the theories relate to my learning experiences.

Defining the Social Learning Theory, it is learning behavior by observing behavior. Picture this! Watching your mother wash the dishes, drive the car, interact with others, and demonstrate how to do your homework. All of these observations were eventually accomplished and performed as well as many others, by means of watching and asking questions. My parents were the main surroundings that affected my childhood learning behavior, by making it acceptable and comprehendible to grasp. To start out, my mother was an artist and attended many gatherings. She was a loving, social, and active person. Going with her to art gallery’s/opening, meeting and art classes, it was hard not go with the flow after watching her do it. Talking, walking, and meeting her friends made it ac challenge for a young girl who had not had many friends, to be just like ‘Mom’. The self-efficacy and the multiple gatherings made socializing and modeling easy thereafter.

Learning by observing also took place with my father while growing up. My father was a friend, business-man, and father to me. Making friends, interacting with clients, and becoming a successful lawyer, he had to show respect, dignity, and pride among his firm. Thus, outings to dad’s office downtown answered the question “Where does my father go when he leaves in the morning?” Going on what I called ‘after school field trips’ to my father’s office was interesting, active, and made me think twice about following in his footsteps when choosing a career. Observing him, my father was humorous yet business-like at the office. He treated everyone with a balance of equality and respect when taking to clients. While I spent more time with my mother, my father influenced my learning. Attending office parties and gatherings, I saw a different side to my dad. A side that was not ‘office dad’, he was laughing, making jokes and smiling from to ear to ear. While having two sides to him, my fathers was loving, caring, and giving at home.

Now as an adult, I model how my father behaved in and out of the office. No matter where I am, my father’s behavior comes out in me. By observing and imitating, my personality can not be whole without my father. Matter of fact, due of my parent’s style of bringing me up as a child, I now learn better and more productively by observing. Today, I only learn by being the observant, verbal, and active person I am.

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