Children observing others work

A homeschooling mother of a 6yo and 3yo asked for advice on Montessori_online the other day on the issue of her working on materials like a 6yo and her 6yo observing her do so.  Matt Bronsil responded with this really interesting post:

“Observing someone do something is a great way to learn in the classroom.
Albert Bandura wrote about 4 ways we learn that we find the confidence to do
something:

1) Knowledge of actual performance. If we continually succeed at a task,
we become more confident in that task.

2) Vicarious experiences. If we see someone else succeed, we believe more
strongly that we can succeed at it.

3) Verbal persuasion. (Pep talks). If someone else talks about us
succeeding, we more easily believe we can as well.

4) Physiological cues. We take how our body feels and help determine
whether we can do something. A classic example is someone getting nervous
before a performance. Some might interpret it as fear and doubt while
others might interpret the same exact feeling as getting excited and having
the adrenaline going.
#2 is [really important to your question.] If we see someone doing something,
we think we also have the power to do it. A child observing another child
at work assumes he can do that task to some degree and, as a result, is less
inhibited to try.”

Hmmm… perhaps I shall try playing with the materials when the children are around too.  After all, I only have 4-6 children in the homeschool group… and somedays, only 1!!!!  Better still, I might give lessons to the other adults too! Ideas ideas ideas!

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