Observational Learning

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Observational Learning

Amanda June Lewis

Professor Heather Lippard

Argosy University Online


  In this paper will discuss the negative and positive of those students who have disabilities. Should these students be mainstreamed into the regular classes or should they be kept united in their own classrooms. The age old question should those that are behaviorally challenged and children that have disabilities be put with those in a regular classroom? Would students with learning disabilities be put with those with behavioral issues? I have been working with this subject for over thirty years and will share the pros and cons of inclusion and segregation of these children and issues they face in the classrooms of our schools. Do these classes actually increase or decrease the issues that are challenging the children. We will also take a look at how observational learning effects these children.

  There are many things to be said on the subject of handicapped children and young adults and the environment in which they are associated. Being a mother of a Down’s child that was extremely malnourished when we got him and being told that he would be a vegetable his whole life. I knew better, he needed stimulation and encouragement to make a difference in his life. Just as my niece that was left deaf after having spinal meningitis. First of all we understood that our children would have difficulties but we also never treated them as if they were handicapped, they just had to learn in a different way. This is where observational learning was a large component of their learning. They learned to do anything anyone else can do, maybe not as good or perhaps better in some instants. They never knew they were different. My niece saw a little boy in a wheelchair at Wal-Mart one day and said, “Aw look Mama, that little boy is handicapped, I will pray that he will be normal like me” (Jenny Rae Lee).  I think that said it all. Another time my son and I were at Wal-Mart there was this little boy that was handicapped and he wanted to pray for him to be like him. He looked at me and said “Mama he will be okay, alright Mama” (Marcus) and he was very matter of fact. “I prayed for him, he will be okay.” (Marcus). Our children, what most consider normal, were raise to respect them and to listen even though they are handicapped they are their elders. My grandchildren call him Uncle Markie and he loves them with all his heart. He calls them “his kids.” These observational lessons were taught to our children from babies up as inclusion was taking place. When they went to school it was another story however.

  In school they isolate all kinds of behaviors and disabilities in a class referred to as “Special Education” class. All behaviors and disabilities are in one classroom. Those that were extremely dysfunctional and those that were not. It is difficult for those that were not to achieve advancement. The aides are working constantly with those that cannot do for themselves, which is good. However, I must ask what happens to those that are able to learn through observation when the aides are too busy to accomplish the goals for those to observe? So those that learn from observational learning are somewhat hindered and even going backwards at times, due to the lack of what they are observing. Example: A child needs to observe an aide or teacher counting blocks or showing colors. The aide/teacher was busy taking a child in and out of the room for the rest room cleaning them up. This leaves the child to fin for themselves in the classroom. They are learning by what they are observing and that is not good. My experience is that Special Education rooms contain babysitters and not much more in my over thirty years of dealing with these services. They are so busy trying to keep up with the children that they cannot show good behaviors or actually teach the children. Every time I would go to the school (pop in) my son would be sitting watching a movie or listening to a cassette tape which he could be doing at home. My sister had the same problem with Jenny at the deaf school, not being taught, just baby sat. We could have done that ourselves at home. They are the professionals and we expected teaching to be taking place as it has been proven that children with disabilities can learn.

  In our book, Learning and Behavior, it states; [Baer, Peterson, and Sherman (1967) reinforced several children who were profoundly retarded for imitating a variety of behaviors performed by the teacher (standing up, nodding yes, opening a door). After establishing imitative responses (which required several sessions), the teacher occasionally performed various new behaviors, and the children would also imitate these behaviors although they were never reinforced for doing so.] (Mazur J. E., 2006).This is proof that these children with a little initiative of the teacher can learn new things. Inclusion has been debated for many years as the term generally represents “full inclusions.” This is where the disabled children are taught in a normal class setting for the day and are allowed to be a part of the classroom development. Their classes in “art, library, physical education and allotments such as lunch, playground activities and assemblies,” (Seehorn, n.d.) meaning the students are all treated the same. Through mainstreaming 


Mazur, 2006.  Learning and Behavior (6th ed). Pearson Learning Solutions.

  Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/books/0558220231/id/ch12lev2

This is the assignment. We are graded on the rubic at the bottom with the points for each attached! Do you know how many hours you might need? Thanks.

Assignment 2: Inclusion versus Segregation

One of the top issues in special education is the ongoing debate of “inclusion versus segregation.” The idea of inclusion in education is that all students, no matter what disability they may have, should learn together in the same environment. Fully inclusive schools do not differentiate between special education courses and general education courses, but rather include students with learning, emotional, behavioral, or physical disabilities in classes with all of the other students.

The idea of segregation in education suggests that there are benefits to providing classes separate from general education classes that meet the needs of students with special needs. For some students, this may be for just one or two subjects, while for other students, this encompasses all of their courses.

In this assignment, you will consider those students who suffer from behavioral disorders or social skill deficits.

Using the module readings, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet, research observational learning. Then, address the following:

  • Based on your learning about observational learning in this module, what are the benefits that these students could gain through their inclusion into a regular classroom?
  • How could the principles of observational learning help to improve the classroom behavior of students with behavioral disorders or social skill deficits?
  • What are some of the classroom disadvantages for employing inclusion for other typically developing students?
  • Do you support the move toward inclusion? Why or why not?

Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Be sure to include a title page and a reference page. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M4_A2.doc.

By Wednesday, October 30, 2013, deliver your assignment to the M4: Assignment 2 Dropbox.

Assignment 2 Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Identified benefits to be gained from inclusion of students with behavioral disorders and described ways in which principles of observational learning could improve classroom behavior of such students.


Identified classroom disadvantages for employing observational learning principles for typically developing students.


Provided reasons for or against the move towards inclusion.


Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.




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