Week 4: Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

3 things I learned:

  1. Self-regulation

Self-regulation is one of the goals for teachers to assist our students so that they can foster better, because this has a lot to do with learning process. This concept includes being able to use knowledge, motivation, and volition, which would result in positive outcomes and ultimately, being successful in one’s life. I believe that this can be achieved not only through schooling, but also at home, and any other social circumstances that a child faces throughout his/her life.


  1. Types of motivations

I learned the terms of ‘intrinsic motivation’ and ‘extrinsic motivation’. Among these two, extrinsic motivation was particularly interesting to me because this is where the environment influence is being a part of. An example of this would be the use of rewards, prizes, consequences or punishments, which all are commonly used in school, as well as at home. Also, I think that not only children are being motivated by these factors, so are adults. Because the work people do in the real world is often regulated by both intrinsic and extrinsic world.

I know that some people value intrinsic motivation over extrinsic motivation, because it would be more rewarding and offer a deeper sense of achievement than the extrinsic does. Certainly, there would be pros and cons on both sides. However, I wonder if intrinsic motivation has to be more preferred than extrinsic motivation when it comes to teaching?


  1. Children begin the process of learning with observation

I believe that this is one of the most important elements in terms of social cognitive theory because it includes learning from modelling as well as thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and judgments. In other words, humans start learning by observing from the moment we are born while developing the various senses, then enhance their learning processes throughout lives, which means that social cognitive theory explains adaptation, learning and motivation. It is a fundamental method of learning that can be found in all areas.


2 connections I made:

The connection I made is regarding self-efficacy. As mentioned in the lecture, there are multiple influences on this concept and its development, including family, teachers, peers, any other contacts that a child may experience in his/her life. I remember when I was younger, I experienced developing self-efficacy by influences from family and teacher: I was a very shy and quite child and had a low self-confidence, which had led to a low self-efficacy especially if a task needed to be accomplished in public. Then, my mother encouraged me to join in school music band to in a hope of developing self-confidence, which, needless to say, I absolutely hated at first because I did not believe that I could play an instrument in public while collaborating with others. I thought I would be terrible and cause a trouble to the team. However, both my mother and the teacher believed in me and gave encouragement, and I became able to play the marimba quite pretty well, and our band ended up winning a prize at a local contest. With this experience, I developed self-efficacy in terms of music, which got me to major in music later, when I was in my first college in Korea. As such, I believe that our job as educators is very crucial not only in academic context, but also in children’s journey of developing themselves.


Another connection I made has to do with social cognitive theory. As mentioned above, observation plays a significant role in this field. This fact got me to think about the importance of teacher in the classroom because students not only learn what we teach, but also learn from observing their teachers. Also, I think that this would have more influence on younger children, and as I am hoping to work with young children in the future, this makes me more passionate about becoming a better teacher who can bring positive impact on my future students.


1 Question to think:

I kind of threw it around the discussion about the different types of motivation, so I will rewrite again: Should intrinsic motivation be more encouraged than extrinsic motivation when it comes to learning? If yes, how should we better foster?



Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 11: Social Cognitive View of Learning and Motivation. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.). (pp. 367-397). Toronto, ON: Pearson.


Week 3: The Self, Social, and Moral Development

  1. Potential of playing

First thing I learned this week is that playing and physical exercise play a significant role in children’s learning.

I thought that play and physical movement offer few benefits: helping children release their stress while growing an ability to self-regulate, and keeping them healthy. I didn’t realize that when I was in elementary school, I was learning not only in the classroom by listening to what the teacher says, but also by playing with peers. However, as “play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 66), those play time was contributing to my cognitive and social development, while aiding motor skills. Now that I understand the fact that play and physical exercise allow children to be creative and express themselves, as well as enhance in physical, emotional, and cognitive strength that cannot be gained during seated class time, I hope that I can incorporate more physical movement time in my future classroom.


  1. Various parenting styles and how it affects children

Second thing I learned is various parenting styles and how it affects children. As discussed during the lecture, there are various different parenting styles, although I remember 4 main styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Rejecting/Neglecting. Due to spelling, I often got confused with the meanings between authoritarian and authoritative, though now I am able to distinguish them – Authoritarian features controlling parenting style where children often do not have agency; not abusive but not openly affectionate, while authoritative parenting style provides clear limitations/expectations and clearly enforced rules but also affectionate. Different parenting styles would lead children to have different personalities/temperaments. For example, children of authoritative parents tend to be confident, high self-esteem, and have a sense of empathy, while children of authoritarian parents are more likely to be depressed, and shy.  Also, depending on the culture, parenting style may appear in different ways.


  1. Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development

Last thing I would like to mention is Erikson. He proposed a theory of psychosocial development that describes tasks to be accomplished at different stages of life. 8 stages are introduced according to the age. Among those stages, it was quite surprising to me to learn the stage of 6: Intimacy versus isolation (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 83). According to Erikson, the important event of this stage is ‘love relationships’ because “the young adult must develop intimate relationships or suffer feelings of isolation”. However, I think that it would be varied by many factors, such as culture. Depending on the cultures, I have seen cases of people having intimate relationships much earlier than Erikson suggested, whereas some people have not built relationships much later than young adulthood. However, that does not necessarily mean that those people are suffering from feelings of isolation.



Speaking of the importance of play time, I believe that I didn’t have recess as much – or longer – as it is in don’t recall any recess time during my school years. It is possible that some schools in Korea did offer recess, or it has been changed since I graduated so that every school has once in a day now. However, as far as I remember, we did not have a concept of ‘recess’ – we just had 10 minutes of break time between the classes, lunch time, and PE class, and those are the only time when we get to be ‘free’ from the desk and chair. Hence, I did not know what ‘recess’ was until I took ECS 100, which had a practicum that allowed me to experience Grade ½ classroom once a week. Now that I understand how important it is to ensure physical activity for children, I wish I had recess when I was younger, and also hope that the next generation in Korea gets enough opportunity to physically move.

Another connection I made is in regards to peer relationship and peer cultures. When I was younger, I used to hang out with a group of girls all the time. We lived in the same neighbourhood, went to the same elementary school and middle school. We literally spent almost every single moment of our childhood together. As we entered the middle school, we had to wear school uniform, and at some point, all of us started to wear similar shoes and bags, and cut bang hair. Then somehow, these things became a ‘norm’ to us. Now that I look back, I think that the idea of peer cultures is quite common, especially among the adolescents.


Question to Think:

How can we more incorporate/ensure ‘playing’ time at school?

Is Erikson’s Eight stages of psychosocial development universal? Or is it overgeneralization?


Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 3: Self and Social and Moral Development. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.). (pp. 66 & 83). Toronto, ON: Pearson.

Week 2: Development and Learning

This week has given me an opportunity to think about a topic of human development. As humans, we grow, improve, and move forward while aging, and this is something that does not stop and cannot be stopped unless one deceases. Of course, every moment of development is critical. However, as some stages of development throughout our lives is more essential than others, it is fundamental and significant for us as educators to achieve understanding of the principles, different types and factors, as well as related theories of human development.


First thing I learned from Chapter 2 of Educational Psychology is the fact that there are four different areas in human development: physical, personal, social, and cognitive. All is intertwine with each other, yet all is independently important in shaping individuals with their external and internal identities. So, is it nature or nurture that develop these areas? While I was struggling to pick one over another, the following quote from Educational Psychology (2016) has opened a new door: “Today the environment is seen as critical, but so are biological factors and individual differences. In fact, some psychologists assert that behaviours are determined 100% by biology and 100% by environment – they can’t be separated.” (p. 24)


Another thing I learned this week is Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. This includes Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete operational, and formal operational, which are all divided according to the age of an individual. Each stage has its own characteristics as portrayed in the video that was shown during the lecture. This has helped me understand why individuals at different ages would respond differently in the same situation (e.g.: recognizing the same amount of water in two differently shaped glasses). Although, Piaget’s theory has limitations, as not all individuals are consistent with stages, and his theory underestimated children’s cognitive abilities, as well as overlooked cultural factors in child development. (p. 60)


Last thing I would like to address as a learning point among other things is General Principles of Development:

  • People develop at different rates.
  • Development is relatively orderly.
  • Development takes place gradually. (p. 25)

As a future educator, I believe that knowing these principles would play a key role in understanding my future students. Also, without taking consideration of these principles, it would be difficult to create an environment where the students can benefit from.


With the lecture and reading, the connection I made is related to the topic of ‘nature vs nurture.’ I see valid points from both sides, and also have opinions on both. In other words, it is quite hard for me to choose one over another because I think that one benefits his/her development in various areas by allowing both nature and nurture factors to have impacts.


Another connection I made has to do with the idea of scaffolding, a way of supporting learners with appropriate assistances from a more competent individual. When I was younger, I hated Math class especially when learning fraction, and was always embarrassed because I thought I was left behind in Math. By then, I had a lack of understanding of basic division, which hindered me from understanding the concept of fraction. My teacher, then, took a step-by-step for me: she made sure that I fully understand division first, and then moved to fraction part. Thankfully, I was able to overcome the fear of division, as well as self-esteem has strengthened as I saw my achievement. As such, I believe that scaffolding is a powerful tool that educators can utilize to reach every student to meet their different needs, while building relationship and enabling the learners to become confident and competent in their learnings.


While it is undeniable that Chapter 2 has offered an in-depth knowledge of human development, one question arises in my mind and has to do with the idea of fostering resilience: What makes students be resilient learners? Is it nature or nurture that has more influence in fostering resilience? How can we, as educators, ensure to create resilient classrooms?



Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 2: Cognitive Development. & Chapter 6: Culture and Diversity. In Educational Psychology. (6th ed.). (pp. 22 – 61 & 215 – 217). Toronto, ON: Pearson.