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The physical setting of a classroom has many behavioral influences. In this case, the environment impacts the children’s participation by its degree of fun, attractiveness, and stimulation. Children are less likely to get involved in disruptive things when they are actively engaged. The reason therein is that the environment can assist the young ones to feel safe; it can also give them confidence that they can be independent and exercise choice; therefore, have control of themselves when learning and during play. The environment and the manner in which it is organized is a potent regulator of behaviors. In essence, it communicates explicit messages of feeling and intent. Therefore, an environment that is planned can foster in the youngsters a sense of challenge, stimulation, choice, independence, trust, safety, control, and support. Based on various ecological theories, behavior cannot be deliberated separately from the environment in which it transpires (Chesebrough, King, Bloom, & Gullotta, 2004). Considering the mentioned theory, multiple environments impact children. For this reason, it is essential to consider various family members, including parents as well as peers, the local neighborhood, social institutions, in this case, schools, and the broader community when setting a learning environment for students.
Definition of Behavior Based on the Cognitive Theory
Cognitive theory is an approach that focuses on the function and acquisition of human knowledge and thought; it is concerned with what and how an individual comes to know and believe, and the role that this plays in what a person feels and does. The cognition of a person encompasses reflections, memories, and thoughts of what they do and feel, and of their environmental experiences, including all the people in it. Therefore, cognitive theory depicts the areas that are crucial to understanding the behavior and personality of humans and planning efforts to establish change (Greene, 2017). To this end, in the cognitive theory, the behavior is defined as an aspect that reflects the emergence of different patterns of thinking, organized units, and cognitive structures that impacts the manner in which a child interprets experience (Bukatko & Daehler, 2011). The theory in question assumes that the basis for almost all behavior is conscious thinking.
The Quote Chosen and the Behavior Displayed by Students in the Learning Environment
The quote that has been chosen to guide this analysis is as follows: “The evidence is unequivocal – children who have difficulty regulating their emotions, paying attention, initiating peer interactions and sustaining engagement in learning tasks are at risk for school difficulties” (Bulotsky-Shearer, Dominguez, & Bell, 2012, p. 421). Based on the mentioned quote, students display various behaviors in the learning environment. As an illustration, high-quality classroom environments that offer emotionally supportive teacher-child and peer interactions as well as predictable, well-organized, and cognitively stimulating routines best support children’s social development, mathematics, literacy, and language. Furthermore, youngsters who share a classroom environment categorized with higher mean skills in language demonstrate more significant gains in expressive and receptive language than children who do not.
Additionally, a language-rich peer-environment offers additives “inputs” in linguistic that promote language development of children. In essence, this is achieved by an increase of chances for youngsters to use language and listen through instructional activities, play, games and peer conversations. Conversely, peers sharing an environment where there is a great degree of lack of engagement or social disconnection may possibly generate added risk for Running Start youngsters already at danger for poor school readiness and behavior problems (Bulotsky-Shearer et al., 2012).
Reasons for Behaviors Displayed by Students Based on Cognitive Theory
There are various reasons for the behaviors displayed by students in the learning environment as demonstrated in the cognitive theory. As an illustration, the cognitive theory is an approach that is centered on the notion that expectations, beliefs, and thoughts are the reasons that influence behavior, which is shaped by the social environment of a person (Jennett, 2008). The theory in question emphasizes the significance of thinking; in this context, the behavior is determined by the manner in which people evaluate, predict, and interpret (construe) events, rather than by natural reality or instincts. Ewen (2014) emphasized the significance of personal reasons for behavior, including beliefs, self-perceptions, expectations, and thoughts. The mentioned author argued that people exert a reciprocal effect on their environment, instead of being controlled by it. The reason therein is that much of what people learn to occur through observation; thus, it necessarily does not involve reinforcement.
Ewen (2014) further stated that destructiveness and aggression are as a result of observational learning, rather than to natural conditioning or instincts. The belief, in this regard, is that people can perform the behaviors needed by a specific state is likely to cause more effective and more persistent behavior. Therefore, behavior that is self-reinforced tends to be upheld more effectively than the one that has been reinforced externally.
Appropriate principles, policies, and practices applied to maintain positive learning environments
There are some methods utilized to maintain a learning environment which is positive. One of the leading used dogma is the restorative justice approach; schools often employ this policy to emphasize that teachers and students have the right to be treated justly and respectfully. People who pursue restorative justice perceive behavior that is inappropriate as a breach of class and school rules as well as damage to the association between people in the school community, teachers, peers, and the misbehaving students (De Nobile, Lyons, & Arthur-Kelly, 2017).
The affirmative statement is also another policy to be applied to maintain a positive learning environment, and this can be achieved by asking the students who are harmed by misbehavior to write a statement to elaborate how the misconduct influence them. The offenders read the comments, and they are obligated to respond to them. Arguably, the process is most useful when victims feel that they are unable to provoke wrongdoers directly and provide them with time to consider their response and also to consider what to say. The problem resolution process can also be done in a manner like this (De Nobile et al., 2017).
Conversely, one-on-one conferences is another practice to be applied to maintain a positive learning environment. The method involves a face-on –face meetings between the victim and the offender which is assisted by qualified personnel, counselor or a teacher. The conferences can be carried out in a quiet room, outside the class corridors or in an empty classroom-away from other students. In this practice, offenders and victims are led through a sharing process, the victims narrate the story, and the offenders respond to the matters in their perspective. The facilitator afterward leads the negotiation towards future action agreement which includes compensations from the offender (De Nobile et al., 2017).
Group conferences is also another principle to be applied in the positive maintenance of a learning environment. It is also known as face-to-face meetings, and it includes stakeholders, victims, offenders, and the facilitator. As was with the one-on-one conference, the victims here are also given a chance to converse with the offenders. Conversely, victims here are offered the support of family or friends. Help from family and friends is also provided to the offenders, but these individuals are there to assist the wrongdoers to realize the consequences of the actions they have done. The anticipation is that the people connected to the offender will ensure that the behavior in question needs an immediate change and is not acceptable. This principle is applied to ensure that there is an improvement in the learning environment, and it also promotes positive moral behavior of the students (De Nobile et al., 2017).
Last but not least, is the application of the policy of circles and in this practice, the facilitator brings the victims and the offenders together. They exchange points of view, and at the end, a decided resolution, which is involving future behaviors and reparations is arrived at (De Nobile et al., 2017). When there are multiple victims, circles work particularly well. They can also be useful when opposing sides, groups of people, victims and offenders are in racial conflict. Circles are the most preferred policy since the facilitator accepts the solutions of the victims and the offenders but analyze them thoroughly until a suitable one is reached.
In summary, early behavior problems of children impede their ability to form essential associations with teachers and peers and their capability to engage in classroom learning activities; this, in turn, places the youngsters at risk for future academic and social difficulties. Therefore, a nurturing, responsive, and safe environments are a crucial part of supporting the development and learning of children. The reason therein is that such environments also assist in preventing behaviors that are challenging. For this reason, there is a need to have appropriate principles, policies, and practices that would enhance environmental practices. In essence, such this refers to the aspects of the activities, routines, equipment, materials, and space that the families and teachers need to later intentionally to support the learning of each child across developmental domains. The point then is that just as behavior can impact all the learning environment aspects, all the dynamics of the learning environment can be structured to enhance positive behavior.
Bukatko, D., & Daehler, M. (2011). Child development: A thematic approach. Nelson Education.
Bulotsky-Shearer, R. J., Dominguez, X., & Bell, E. R. (2012). Preschool classroom behavioral context and school readiness outcomes for low-income children: A multilevel examination of child-and classroom-level influences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 421.
Chesebrough, E., King, P., Bloom, M., & Gullotta, T. P. (Eds.). (2004). A blueprint for the promotion of pro-social behavior in early childhood (Vol. 4). Springer Science & Business Media.
De Nobile, J., Lyons, G., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2017). Positive Learning Environments: Creating and Maintaining Productive Classrooms. Cengage AU.
Ewen, R. (2014). An Introduction to Theories of Personality (7th ed.). Psychology Press.
Greene, R. R. (2017). Human Behavior Theory and Professional Social Work Practice. In Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice. Routledge.
Jennett, S. (2008). Churchill Livingstone's Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
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