Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

I have always seen teachers as role models, but I never really saw myself in that same role model position. When thinking about this role that teachers play in students’ life you realize that teachers are generally one of the most common adults that children are with. It is because of this close relationship we have with a student that we need to have a close relationship with their parents as well. What I have never realized before is that educators are more than role models for behavior but can be an influencing factor in morals, language, behavior, and lead them to new interests. It is important for a teacher to recognize the type of environment they are creating for students and whether it is inclusive to those of different genders, races, beliefs, etc. The text Education Psychology by Woolfolk, discusses the concept of arousing emotion and the ripple effect that it can cause. By teachers being enthusiastic and passionate about what they are teaching students are more likely to replicate this interest.

It is also important for teachers to put themselves in the role of students and consider their perspective and what will work for them. From this, some educators have responded by having students sit next to ten and look at the paper from the point of view that they would be writing at. Though this is one approach I feel that it this sort of seating could cause some environmental stress. I do believe that it is important for teachers to vocally express each step and explain the thinking behind the step. This relates to separating arbitrary information. Boaler explains that is too often that teachers explain a concept with the explanation this is how you do it because this is how you do it, but they are missing so much of the big picture. Not all but many students need the explanation of why there are taking certain steps and the thinking behind it. Having this additional information allows students to understand what they are doing and why and can lead to greater success especially in math. Something that comes to mind specifically is recognizing the multiple ways we teach math. Numerous parents complain about these new ways and this attitude can be absorbed by their child. By having an open conversation on what is being learned and why we can hopefully diminish this negative connotation around learning.

As it is important for teachers to know their students it is more important for a student to have self-regulation. As a teacher, you need to know how to relate and relay information to your students, however as a student gets older part of this responsibility gets transferred to them. When in university students need to be self-regulated and have an understanding of what they know, what they don’t know, how they learn, and how they cope. Academically I had done quite well in school but  I found the transfer into university quite difficult, it was not because the material is harder but I didn’t know how to memorize things myself. I have had very few professors that teach me, but I have had many who expected me to memories information I was given. Here I have realized that teachers teach and professors talk and have expectations, but if failure occurs in high school we blame teacher but if it happens in university we blame the student. Though upsetting to say many professors can’t teach, and students need to learn how to teach themselves and how they learn. For me, it was repetition of saying the information out loud and writing it.

I am going on my third year now at the University of Regina doing my first two years in the joint B KIN, B Ed. During those two years, I had a lot of different professors whose academic focuses were in different areas and it was extremely obvious what were education classes and what was Math or Kinesiology based on professors alone. I have noticed in education professors have obviously worked in the classroom before, whereas in other facilities students learn from professors, not teachers. If this barrier is so obvious to the students why is this not taken into consideration? Why are professors not obligated to take education courses and learn to teach?  Passion, knowledge and the ability to teach and lead are all valuable characteristics. However just because you know a topic well does not mean you can teach others, just as you can be a strong, caring role model but not be an effective teacher if you don’t have the proper knowledge.


It's a Beautiful Thing when a Career and a Passion Come Together ...


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