Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is applicable in the classroom in many ways.
Teacher modeling (a learning principle from SCT) is an effective way to instruct by demonstrating
- desired behaviors
I’m passionate about celebrating mistakes as a powerful tool of instruction. Students too often associate mistakes with failure. Modeling offers a great way to change that association. Harriet Edwards’ article “Mistakes and Other Classroom Techniques” makes a great case for instructors to make mistakes in class and then model for students ways to move on from and productively handle mistakes. Mistakes will be a key part of my classroom and I plan to follow Edwards’ advice.
Self-efficacy, a central piece of SCT, is incredibly important to me. Though I’m going to be teaching math and physics, the skill I’m most eager to teach is self-advocacy, which hinges on self-efficacy. Advocacy, for others and for oneself, is best taught by real-world modeling. I plan to advocate visibly for them and for myself, modeling behavior that is directly applicable to their lives.
As a teacher, I must be a model in all that I teach and believe. To be otherwise is hypocritical. From wearing a helmet and reflective vest when I ride my bike to engaging in productive, non-violent communication to dealing with and learning from my mistakes, I will model for students the beliefs and values I profess.
Edwards, H.C. (1994). Mistakes and other classroom techniques: An application of social learning theory. Essays on Teaching Excellence: Toward the Best in the Academy, 6 (5).