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In educational psychology, social cognitivism is a learning theory based on the assumption that people learn by watching what others do. In the book "Educational Psychology: Developing Learners" (2003) author Jeanne Ellis Ormrod lists the main principles of social cognitivism:

  • People learn by observing others.
  • Learning is an internal process that may or may not change behavior.
  • People behave in certain ways to reach goals.
  • Behavior is self-directed (as opposed to the behaviorist thought that behavior is determined by environment.
  • Reinforcement and punishment have unpredicatable and indirect effects on both behavior and learning.

Teachers play the role as model in a child's learning acquisition. Teachers model both material objectives and underlying curriculum of virtuous living. Teachers should also be dedicated to the building of high self-efficacy levels in their students by recognizing their accomplishments.

The theorist most commonly associated with Social Cognitivism is Albert Bandura.

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