COLLABORATION AND MOTIVATION: APPLYING ALBERT BANDURA'S SOCIAL COGNITIVE LEARNING THEORY IN A CLASS ROOM SITUATION: BY KEVIN CHIMA IBEH ( LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT, DOWEN COLLEGE, LAGOS). INTRODUCTION: It is not an over statement to say that man learns everyday, everytime, and everywhere. This is because learning involves a change in human behaviour. This change ,which is positive, is necessary for the mental and physical development of man. What rather appears to be boggling the minds of philosophers and psychologists, over the years, and which they have tried to understand is the nature of learning, how it takes place and how an individual can influence the learning of another person through teaching and other related endeavors. Consequently, different theories of learning have been proffered. One of these theories is Social Cognitive Theory, which was developed by Albert Bandura in 1986. The focus of this theory is that learning takes place through observation. I teach in an international private school that operates both Nigerian and British curricular. I use Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory in my English language class. This is because of my belief that students learn more not only by observing their teachers perform a task related to what they are teaching, but also by observing their fellow students perform meaningful and rewarding task in the class, particularly those of them that they perceive as being exceptionally intelligent. To this effect, I will, in this paper, show how collaboration and motivation aid in teaching and learning by applying Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory in my year 10 English short story writing lesson. I will also show how students can work together to achieve a desired result.The teaching and learning experience that I will explore here happened some years back when I was handling a year 10 class. For an effective realization of this, I will look at Bandura's theory, situating it in the context of other recent researches and pointing out how I effectively used it in my English short story writing. This will be followed with a reflection on the implications of the theory to teaching and learning. It is with a brief conclusion that this paper will come to an end. • ALBERT BANDURA'S SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY: According to Wikipedia (2016:1), social cognitive theory holds that " portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences". This theory was established by Albert Bandura in 1986. According to him," when people observe a model performing a behavior and the consequences of that behavior, they remember the sequence of events and use this information to guide subsequent behaviours. Observing a model can also prompt the viewer to engage in behaviour they have already learned." It is good to note here that Bandura's social cognitive theory gained its conceptual root from Edwin B.Holt and Harold Chapman Brown's 1931 book, which claims that all animal action is aimed at satisfying the psychological needs of feeling, emotion, and desire. Holt and Brown(1931) predicted that "a person cannot learn to imitate until they are imitated". Neal E.Miller and John Dollars (1941) revised Holt and Brown theory, arguing that four factors contribute to learning. These are drives, cues, responses, and reward. They went further to state that "a behavior is imitated depending on whether the model receives a positive or negative response consequences". Bandura (1977) expanded the scope of Miller and Dollars's social learning theory through a series of studies, known as "bobo doll experiment." Through these studies, he demonstrated the value of modeling for acquiring novel behaviours.He argued that social learning theory shows a direct correlation between a person's perceived self-efficacy and behavioural change.According to him, self-efficacy comes from four sources:" performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological states". In 1986, Bandura renamed his original theory. He called it social cognitive theory. He did this to emphasize the major role cognition plays in encoding and performing behaviours. He argued that human behaviour is necessitated by personal, behavioural and environmental influences. Melissa Hurst(2016) reflecting on social cognitive theory of learning, said that the theory is based on some assumptions. The first one is that people can learn by observing others. This implies that learners can acquire new behaviours and knowledge by simply observing a model. A model ,according to him, is a person who demonstrates behaviour for someone else. According to McLeod (2011), the motivation to identify with a particular model is that " they have a quality which the individual would like to possess." Moving further, he said that "individuals do not automatically observe the behaviour of a model and imitate it. There is some thought prior to imitation and this consideration is called mediational processes. This occurs between observing the behaviour (stimulus) and imitating it or not ( response)." Bandura proposed four mediational processes. These are : attention, retention, reproduction and motivation. By attention, we mean the extent to which we observe the behaviour. Retention centres on how well the behaviour is remembered. Reproduction centres on the ability to perform the behaviour that the model has demonstrated. Motivation is the will to perform the behaviour. Here, the observer will consider the reward and punishment that will follow a behaviour. The second assumption is that learning is an internal process that may or may not lead to a behavior. This goes to say that the observer may process the new behaviour, but his learning may not be affected until a later point or never at all. Hurst goes further to say that there is an assumption of goal directed behaviour. Learners set goals for themselves and direct their behaviour accordingly. In the class room, learners are motivated by such goals as a high GPA, popularity with class mates and so on. Another assumption is that behaviour is self-regulated. Social cognitivists are of the view that people regulate their learning and behaviour. We also have the assumption of reinforcement and punishment, which have direct effect on learning and behaviour. People , according to Hurst(2016) "form expectations about the likely consequences of future responses based on how current responses are reinforced or punished. People's expectations are also influenced by the observation of consequences that follow other people's behaviour". This is known as vicarious experiences. Again, the non-occurrence of an expected consequence may also have a reinforcing or a Punishing effect. Saul McLeod (2011:2) observes that "reinforcement can be external or internal and can be positive or negative. If a child wants approval from parents or peers, this approval is an external reinforcement, but feeling happy about being approved of is an internal reinforcement.A child will behave in a way in which it believes will earn approval because it desires approval." A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO TEACHING ENGLISH SHORT STORY WRITING: In my year 10, English Language class, I have 20 students. Out of this number, 12 are boys, while 8 are girls. The average age of these students is 14 years. Given the nature of the Nigerian and British curricular that we operate in school, these students are seen as freshers into the senior school curriculum. Based on this, I consider the class as a very delicate one , as it is in this class that solid foundation is expected to be laid for students, not only in English language, but also in all the subjects that students offer at the senior level. Consequently, I perceive Bandura's social cognitive theory as a good learning theory for me to use in my English language class. I come to reason that students need a model whom they can observe and imitate. Thus, a week before my English short story lesson, I asked my students to visit the school library, and read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's short story collection, titled "A Thing around her Neck". In the same week , I placed on the school Notice Board, reviews of Adichie's short story collection from different literary scholars, highlighting with my pen the various lines that contain their numerous praises for her work. I made my students to read this too before our short story lesson. In my school, each lesson is 35 minutes. English language lesson is usually given two periods of lesson, which is 70 minutes. I used this double period to teach the lesson. The students, of course, have heard of what short story writing is all about. But, nobody has taught it in such a way as to make them write it. The usual fear that it is a difficult type of writing is there. I started the lesson by introducing them to what short story is all about and to the different short stories written by both English writers and African writers. I used, mainly , Adichie's stories, which they have read as my case studies. At the end of my introduction, I asked them questions based on what I taught them. The students answered my questions. Those of them that answered the questions correctly were instantly rewarded. I asked the students to give them a round of applause. Those that did not get the answers correctly, were corrected. I, then, highlighted the elements of short story writing, such as: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution as our areas of concentration in the lesson. I made them to understand that they are going to write their own stories. I divided the students into four groups. Each group comprises five students. I made sure that each group has two female students. I also made sure that each group has a group leader. The leaders were chosen from those that answered my questions correctly. They are to act as models to their groups. I wrote four short story topics on the board and asked each group to pick a particular topic and write on it. I made them to understand that each member of a group should contribute in the writing of the story. I also made each member of the groups to be responsible for writing a particular element of the story such as introduction, rising action , climax, falling action and resolution. The leader of each group should start the story after planning with members of the group on how to create the story line,its rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Then he/she will pass it on to the next person, till every person in the group has made a significant input, in relation to the part of the story assigned to him/her. As the various groups were writing their stories, I moved from one group to another, going through what each student was writing. I ,here, applied the reward and punishment methods stipulated in Bandura's social cognitive theory. I praised the students that were contributing meaningfully to the development of their stories, and cautioned those that were not making much input in the stories. I noticed that each time I praised a student's writing, the student would be happy and the next student that would write would like to be like the previous writer by imitating his/her style of writing. Towards the end of the lesson, I collected the stories written by the four groups and read each before the class. I asked the students to assess each story that we read. Their contributions were marvelous. They made positive and negative comments on each story that we read in the class. As this was going on, I observed the facial appearances of members of each group as their fellow students analyze both the content and style of their stories. I noticed that they always smile whenever positive comment was made about their work and frown whenever negative comment was made. I made them to understand their strength in short story writing and praised them for it. I equally made them to understand their weaknesses and asked them to work hard to overcome them. In the end, I thanked them for their contributions and cooperations in the course of the lesson. • REFLECTION: I have come to understand that Bandura's social cognitive theory is significant and has a lot of implications for teaching and learning. My year 10 English short story lesson has made me to affirm what Bandura said in his theory that learners need a model to observe and imitate. The learning outcome of my lesson, I must say, is rewarding. This is because my students, who previously have not written any story of their own, can now boast of having written one. They are no longer afraid of writing short stories. They have come to realize that they can write it. Thanks to the models that were made available to them and the positive reinforcements enjoyed by their models for performing a certain behaviour- the act of writing an interesting stories. The first model that I provided for them to observe was Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie. My students easily identified themselves with her as a model. The reasons are, first , Adichie's sociocultural background. She is an African from an Ibo descent. As my students are mainly Nigerians, they saw her as their sister, speaking to them through her stories. Some of my students are not Nigerians. They are White children. They equally appreciated her as a model they can imitate because she has spent almost half of her life in their countries, specifically in America, living and writing from there. Another thing that attracted my students to Adichie as a model is her age. She is a young woman in her mid-thirties. Bandura noted in his theory that children are likely to observe and imitate models that are related to them in terms of age and sex. This was evident in my class as my students followed her writing behaviour because she is a young woman. The girls in my class appreciated her more. Another model that I presented to my students were their peers- their fellow students. They were able to accept these students as their models and group leaders because they have observed them in the past and during the present class on short story writing , performing behaviours that have been rewarded. They wanted to be like them. They wanted to learn from them. When the group leaders were explaining the story lines of their stories , they paid attention. They equally imitated their writing styles when they were writing their own parts of the story. Apart from these, the students were motivated to write their stories when they noticed that I was interested in their stories. They came to terms with the fact that since what they were doing was part of a class work, that there must be a mark that would be attached to their writings. Since everybody would like to pass, they have to work hard to earn the marks to pass. This form of motivation is external. Beyond this,is the fact that the students were internally motivated to write their stories. This was achieved when I praised them for their input in the story writing and how happy they felt as a result of that. The implication Bandura's social cognitive theory has for teaching and learning is that it makes teachers to prepare themselves well before entering the classroom to teach the students. Teachers have to gain proper mastery of the contents of their lessons and maker proper plans concerning the delivery of their lessons. This is because they are the first models that the students are observing their behaviours to know if they are to identify with them or not. As Bandura helps us to understand , learning cannot take place, until this identification is carried out by the learner. Teachers should be conscious of the fact that this identification is not automatic. The learner has to undergo what is known as mediational processes, which include: attention, retention, production, and motivation. Thus, teachers must always be prepared for their lessons and deliver them in such a way as to capture the attention of their students to identify themselves with them and what they are teaching. Students like to identify themselves with teachers they believe know they are teaching. Teachers should equally teach their lessons with instructional materials that would make their lessons to be memorable before the students. Moreover, teachers should use simple language and distinct methodology during lesson delivery, to enable students reproduce the contents of the lesson during text or examination. Again, teachers should adopt reward and punishment methods in their lesson. They should reward the good efforts of their students during lesson. This will motivate the students to put more interest in the lesson. Teachers should also talk to the students that are not doing well in the class and provide them with a suitable model in the subject- area, whom the students can emulate their behaviours and perform better. Teachers should again make effort to build a high -efficacy level in their students. They can do this by recognizing their accomplishments in the class. As Bandura(1989:1175) rightly points out: " learning occurs if there is a close identification between the observer and the model and if the observer also has a good deal of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the extent to which an individual believes that they have mastered a particular skill". Lastly, teachers should make use of audio-visual devices, like television as parts of their instructional materials. This will aid them to show their students some videos that contain models that can exhibit behaviours worthy of inspiring their students to imitate. • CONCLUSION: From the foregoings, we have come to note that Bandura's social cognitive theory which I applied in my year 10 English short story writing, to a great extent , reveals that students learn through observation, particularly when they are presented with models that have achieved prowess in the desired area. They are equally motivated to learn when they are rewarded for a good attempt made towards the achievement of the desired goal. It is based on this that I conclude by saying that of all the numerous theories of learning, it is the social cognitive theory that can help the teacher and the learner to achieve the behavioural objectives of learning.