Social Learning

When you were a child, did you have a teacher who gave you stickers for good behavior? Was there a token reward system which let your classroom earn a field trip or a pizza party? Did you have a color system in the front of the classroom to let everyone know who was one misbehavior away from detention?

If you did, you were a participant in a management system influenced by Social Learning theory. More likely than not, students are victims of systems which misapply the theory. Reinforcement and punishment are two of the most commonly used tools in education and classroom management. Reinforcement often takes the form of praise. But effective use requires a clear understanding of the principles.

Watch the video below to hear Carol Dweck, from Stanford University, talk about research on the effects of praise.

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