Daily activities such as a parent teaching a child, a person watching TV, store or restaurant interactions, or on-the-job training can elicit different learning situations. In recognition of this, several sociologists have come up with specific theories that seek to explain this. For instance, George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) studied the distinct identity of a person that comes out of social interaction. This is the process of self. One way of engaging in self is through viewing oneself through other people’s eyes. Another sociologist, Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) sought to find out the manner in which people learn to make right and wrong decisions. He achieved this by evolving moral development theory that has three levels. These are pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional(Macionis & Thompson, 2005).
These theories aid the agents and steps of socialization in specific learning situations as observed through the daily activities of an individual. Apparently, these activities involve lifelong processes that enable individuals to acquire cultural senses in addition to developing their human potentials. Besides, it is through these social interactions that individuals develop their culture. This study identifies two learning specific situations as valuative and environmental. The valuative learning situations signify the resultant mismatch that occurs between the expectation and values of the learner and the teacher. In the case of a parent teaching a child, the child might expect shorter learning hours or lighter exercises and therefore fail to perceive the parent’s longer hours and harder exercises as valueless. For the person watching TV, he or she might allow his religious or personal values to determine the kind of programs to watch and those to avoid. This can be a recipe for conflict especially in a diverse group with various tastes and preferences( Kornblum, 2011).
In an environmental learning situation, the alteration of the learning environment has significant impacts on the performances of the learner. An employee who is used to on-the-job training can have difficulties in re-adjusting to taking leaves for studies. On the other hand, learners used to taking their studies at academic centers can find it hard going through on-the-job training exercises. In order to deal with these specific learning situations, Jean Piaget advanced the theory of cognitive development where he argues that learners should be exposed to diverse learning environments when still young. This is where they will know the world through tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing( Olssen, 2004).
Kornblum, W. (2011). Sociology in a Changing World. Belmont, CA : Cengage Learning.
Olssen, M. (2004). Culture and Learning: Access and Opportunity in the Classroom. Greenwich, Conn.: IAP.
Macionis, J. J., & Thompson, K. S. (2005). Society: the Basics Study Guide. Prentice Hall (School Division).
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