How Mirror Neurons Impact Learning
Learning is a big part of child development and how children learn things is dependent on a variety of factors. Much of the time, observational learning contributes to how children learn information and behaviors. This type of social learning can be greatly influential because of the role that mirror neurons play in learning. Providing children with positive environments is key in helping them learn new skills and appropriate behaviors.
A lot of learning happens indirectly through what is called observational learning. This type of social learning happens when children watch and imitate others. Psychologist Albert Bandura originated what is now called the Social Cognitive Theory that encompasses social learning. This type of learning connects traditional learning theories to a cognitive approach and emphasizes how mental factors are involved. This is a great source of learning and can be seen in all stages of development.
In a nutshell, Bandura stated that children learn certain information and behaviors by observing and then mimicking others. Within this process, attention, memory, and motivation are key. And while mirror neurons are responsible for our ability to mimic others, there is some thought that happens before a child imitates someone. This is called the mediational process. During this, the child unknowingly evaluates the type of consequences that are link to a behavior they are observing. Therefore, they are more likely to imitate if there is a positive reinforcement linked to a behavior. This is called vicarious reinforcement.
While most martial arts schools divide their classes up based on rank, the Life Skill program includes all rank levels. This gives children the ability to observe peers that are at higher levels of achievement. By doing this, they will begin to mimic the more advanced moves and, therefore, learn by simply observing.
The modeling and mirror of movement that happens within classes separated this way is a massive learning tool and the instructors are a huge part of this process. Life Skill instructors are high-energy, motivational forces in class. Therefore, children pay attention and learn more. And since skills that are taught are reviewed throughout a single testing cycle, students increase their memory of skills. Students are then rewarded with high fives, belt stripes, and new ranks, so other students are motivated to receive those same positive reinforcements. All of this boosts their social learning, according to Bandura’s theory, and mimicking these behaviors begins to happen.
Social learning, with the help of mirror neurons, is a great source of knowledge for children. The continuous interaction between cognitive, behavioral, an environmental influences is vital in this process. Being intentional about the type of environments that children are exposed to is important so that learning new information and the development positive behaviors happens.
Thank you ahead of time, for not giving up on your future Black Belt Leaders.
I know that they’ll really appreciate it later in life.
To learn more about the powerful Life Skill childhood development program that uses martial arts as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at our Millbury location, click the button below:
Life Skill Martial Arts
322 Millbury Avenue
Millbury, MA 01527
Stan Tabor is a 6th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 1972. He is the founder of the Life Skill curriculum and association. His goal is to build a future for the next generation of the Life Skill Instructors to use martial arts as a vehicle to teach life skills that develop children physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.
Welcome to Life Skill Martial Arts! Conveniently located in Millbury Massachusetts, Life Skill Martial Arts provides high quality martial arts training classes to the residents of Millbury , Worcester , Grafton , Shrewsbury, Auburn and the surrounding areas, including Sutton , Uxbridge , and Northbridge. We have a few simple goals here. However, we put 110% of our effort into achieving them. Life Skill Martial Arts Millbury helps children to build these good habits that extend to success at home and school everyday. In short, these goals have but one purpose: Provide classes that are results-driven, while at the same time fun!
Life Skill Martial Arts is NOT just another Karate School!
We teach Personal Development to children using martial arts as a vehicle. Our goal is to instill the habits and skills of: Discipline – Belief – Communication – Respect – Self Esteem – Honesty.
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