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This is an approach where one is able to develop his own approach to important issues like counseling, interviewing and therapy. For example a counselor can develop personal styles which will enable him link his clients to their own orientation in the universe. When a counselor achieves this he thinks that is the only correct and true formula for his profession. And in case one misses out on this orientation then that will create an understanding of human complexity as well as the helping process. For this reason it’s very hard for one to tell the theory which he applies because humans function in an integrative framework and therefore further developments and modification tend to occur with practice. Therefore theoretical orientation goes in hand with leadership styles as an individual function (Ivey, Ivey and Zalaquette 438).
Types of theoretical orientations
There are three types of theoretical orientation namely; behavioral, progressivism cognitivism and co-constructivism socio-culturalism. Some of the fundamental assumptions are that students retain the skills and knowledge acquired in class and that they can apply this knowledge in their day to day life. In behavioral orientation the teacher is able to alter the behavior of the student. This is achieved by rewarding the most disciplined students. Therefore awards are used to alter student’s behavior though there are some beliefs that this trend reduces intrinsic motivation to some extend.
The mostly held perspective among the psychologists is the cognitive perspective. This is because it helps in the development of mental constructs. This theory clams that all the process that information goes through are determined by the memory structures. The cognitive theory in conjunction with other theories has been used to explain process of learning done in multimedia presentations. This theory has been used to explain the retention of information obtained in education systems. Therefore it plays an important role in understanding the learning process among the adults. Its application in education has enabled psychologists to understand the learning processes and some of their aspects like retrieving of the stored information. This aspect is important in problem solving through memory (Tisdell 99).
Cognitive psychology is used in educational psychology this, is because the two aspects have similar assumptions. For example the two defines human competence by usage of successive developmental phases. This is because the aim of education is to enable students to develop skills and acquire knowledge that is compatible to their problem solving as well as understanding. And this are attained through a number of stages. Therefore when a teacher knows the level of the student he can comfortably give him the information that he is able to assimilate. This information is important to the institution of learning since it can be used to design subject matter that is used in teaching. For this reason the cognitive theory has been of essential importance to the educational systems especially in science and mathematical education. Adult education has benefited from this because the processing ability and the working memory of students have been considered before sequencing the concepts that is to be taught to the students. This method has been used to differentiate the concepts to be taught to different student levels (Merrell 5).
Social cognitive theory incorporates both the aspects social and behavioral elements. This theory put an emphasis on observation which is believed to influence behavior. It’s thought that by observing the behavior of other people one can change his behaviors. There are several factors that were identified in this theory which help one to determine how observation affects cognitive behavior. Some of the factors identified include the developmental status and self-efficacy of a learner. Constructivism theory puts emphasis to prior knowledge and agency of the learner. It also emphasizes on cultural and social factors which determine the learning process. In this theory one is able to see the influence of adult interactions, cognitive tools as well as cognitive tools to form constructs of the mind.
The roles of an adult educator
The role of an adult educator is to prepare people for life by helping them to live successful lives. An adult educator therefore is involved in assisting adults to be more competent in their social aspects. As a result of this the adults become more fulfilled in solving their personal as well as community problems. An adult educator can teach children to become better adults. By understanding the unique attributes of adult students the organization is better placed when it comes to designing the appropriate curriculum that will meet their needs. Therefore adult students contribute a lot on the achievement of the set goals. Usually adult students have some other roles besides their student roles. For example some of them may be parents, full time employees or even people’s spouses. For this reason their teacher incorporates this other aspects in they normal curriculum in order for the learners to acknowledge their different identities.
When adults go to class their mind is already made up on learning. The reason why they go back to school is to make their career more marketable as well as to gain more knowledge and skills. Despite of all this similarities their level of understanding is different as explained by the cognitive theory of developmental and social process. There are two aspects that never miss at any learning institution and these are gender and race. Therefore all this aspects need to be incorporated in the curriculum for improved learning to be realized. Research reveals that men and women may have different needs in the class therefore there is need for the learning institution to put this in mind when organizing the school events. Originally all learning institutions were structured to offer education to men alone and because of this it’s at times difficult for women and people from marginalized race, sexual orientation and class to be heard (Tisdell 73).
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