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PLCs and Social Learning Theory

PLCs and Social Learning Theory

Author: Katie Hou

In this lesson you will review the components of social learning theory.

In this lesson, you will understand reciprocal determinism.

In this lesson, you will apply social learning theory to PLC.

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Hello, and thank you for joining me for PLCs and Social Learning Theory. By the end of today's tutorial, we will be able to answer the following questions. What are the components of social learning? What is and how useful is evaluative reciprocal determinism? And how is social learning theory related to PLC?

Social Learning Theory was originally attributed to Albert Bandura. and it is just the idea that people learn from one another through observation, imitation, and modeling. So hopefully right away, you're able to see how this can work in a school. We're observing one another, we're imitating what they're doing, and we're modeling their good teacher behaviors, so that we have more learning happening in our classroom or better learning happening.

He also talked about reciprocal interactions between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences. Earlier in the unit, we actually did talk a little bit about cognitive and affective ways that students are learning. So he is just saying that there is a connection between thinking aspect, the behavioral aspect, and the environmental aspect when it comes to learning.

So there are actually five components of the Social Learning Theory. One is that it's not purely behavioral. It's also cognitive and social. We just kind of talked about these. These are all connected. Also, observing a behavior and its consequences is very important. And an extraction of information and decision making can be made from observing those behaviors. With that being said, it is important to note that learning can occur without an observable change in the behavior of the learner. And learning is also occurring through peer modeling.

Reinforcement also plays a large role in learning, but it's not entirely the responsibility of the learner. And another important thing is that the learner is not a passive recipient of the information. There are cognitive aspects, environmental aspects, and behavioral aspects that mutually influence each other and impact the learning.

So what exactly is reciprocal determinism? This is when a teacher is influenced by the environment, students, and the peers. So the teacher is influenced by the school environment, the teacher is influenced by his or her students, and the teacher is influenced by his or her peers. On the other side of the token, the teacher influences the environment, students, and peers. So things in the classroom are not happening in a bubble. While the teacher is influenced by the environment, she also has the power to influence the environment. The same is true for the impact that the teacher might have on students and the impact the students have on the teacher. And the same is true for peers.

Why do professional learning communities, or in what way do professional learning communities support Social Learning Theory? Well, professional learning communities really support collaboration as a direct connection between co-workers. They're going to encourage learning through observation of interactions. They're going to put the teachers in the classrooms, whether it be through learning walks or through sitting down in the classroom and observing a teacher.

And it also allows for peer to peer collaboration, dialogue, coaching, and mentoring. And since social learning suggests that it takes place in social contexts, these collaborations and dialogues are actually really important. Therefore PLC offers many organic opportunities for professional development and growth.

Let's reflect. In what ways are you influenced by your environment, your students, and your peers? And in what ways do you influence your environment, your students, and your peers?

Today, we discussed what the components of social learning are. We talked about what is and how useful is evaluative reciprocal determinism, and how is social learning theory related to PLCs. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted towards helping you discover more ways to apply this course material. Thank you for joining me and happy teaching.

Notes on “PLCs and Social Learning Theory”


(00:00-00:19) Introduction

(00:20-01:07) Social Learning Theory Review

(01:08-02:09) The 5 Components of Social Learning Theory

(02:20-02:46) Reciprocal Determinism

(02:47-03:34) PLCs Support Social Learning Theory

(03:35-03:55) Reflection

(03:56-04:26) Conclusion

Additional Resources

The PLP model: Research-based professional learning

This article makes a strong connection between social learning theory and its application in a Professional Learning Community.

Teachers Learning Together to Enact Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for English Learners: A Call to Reclaim PLCs

This article draws on best practices of Professional Learning Communities to improve practice in English Language Learner classrooms. The article also connects the tenets of PLC with culturally relevant pedagogy.