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Coping models demonstrate what people go through when they are first
learning. They demonstrate less confidence than mastery models, and they make
the errors or missteps common when people are first learning. However, they also
demonstrate how to manage frustration and how improvement is possible with
effort. For example, you may learn how to cope with the day-to-day frustrations
of being a beginning teacher by watching another new teacher who has figured
out how to improve. Coping models, especially those who demonstrate initial
self-doubt statements and then learn or improve, are likely to have a more positive
effect on learners' self-efficacy beliefs than mastery models. New learners see
coping models as being more similar to them. Consequently, if coping models
improve, then improvement seems possible to the learners (Schunk, 2000).
Learner characteristics. Learners’ developmental status and prior
experience will influence their ability to profit from modeling in a number of
ways. First, young and experienced learners may have difficulty selecting and
attending to the important aspects of modeling. Second, young and inexperienced 26 learners may have under-developed strategies for encoding new learning and for
managing working memory load (Berk, 1996). Third, very young learners also
have less capability to use verbal representational systems, which influences the
speed with which they learn and also the generalizability of what they have
learned (Bandura, 1971, 1977). Finally, young learners may lack the prerequisite
motor and cognitive skills needed for the required learning and/or performance.
This final issue became painfully obvious to one of your authors as he tried to
teach his two-year-old son to pitch and catch a baseball. This parent’s enthusiasm
clearly exceeded the child’s ability to reproduce the required physical behaviors.
Learners’ willingness and capability to profit from modeling are also
influenced by their goals. Learners are more likely to attend to modeling that
helps in their progress toward their goals (Bandura,...
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