Before I started the Bachelors in Education degree program, I have always observed how adolescents interact with each other and how their behaviours are imitated by pre-teens and even some younger children.
The Social Learning Theory (SLT) focuses on the learning that occurs within a social context – this is a duh moment I know, but this is how the handout I received in class defines it. We do get the point that it is making and so it is really a none issue. The SLT considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation and modelling or mimicking as it were. Albert Bandura is a leading proponent of this theory
Please bear in mind as I unveil my thoughts, that this is another way that humans learn and embrace behaviours. From my observations of adolescents and young adults, I have come to realise that newly introduced modes of display such as dress, dance and slang are integrated into our systems after acceptance. So I may be late in my “a hah” moment, but please indulge me.
Let me level with you concerning exactly what led me to this. When I notice “schoolers” (adolescent school aged children), male and females, walking together, I often ask myself and wonder, “Why would I as a decently attired young girl in my school uniform, want to be seen with a school boy wearing his pants like tights, with the pants waist below sea level?” Now there are many things that are evoked by this observation. I will list them as they come to me :).
- Boys continue to dress this way because girls have accepted this kind of dress and conduct.
- Girls accept this mode of dress and conduct because they believe, for them to be accepted by the boys, they must accept the “trends” purported by the boys.
- Girls also accept the dispositions of boys because they want to remain with the in crowd and be perceived in the best light by their peers.
Yes this is in keeping with the Socialist theory of behaviour being modelled as our boys must have seen it somewhere and of course it would have been initiated by someone from from some experience or the other. But my argument is that in it being accepted and or embraced, it becomes the norm and therefore another way we learn – does that make sense?
I conclude that many of the behaviours demonstrated by boys and further modelled by younger boys, would be short lived if the girls would maintain some pride and decency by refusing to interact and or be seen with these boys. But guess what, that ain’t gonna happen – especially not according to Eric Erikson’s Identitiy vs Identity Crisis theory or that stage of Latency which Sigmund Freud refers to, because during these phases, adolescents want to be accepted.
But these are just my thoughts and if you have any thoughts on my thoughts, I welcome them. I’m beginning to wonder if my thoughts now make sense since I have put them in black and white? Hhhmmm…