Unformatted text preview: ther factors.
In general, reciprocal determinism means that people are affected by their
environments, and that they also exert influence on their environments.
Reciprocal determinism is represented visually in Figure 4.1. The double-headed
arrows represent the idea of a mutual influence.
(Insert Figure 4.1 About Here.)
As an example of reciprocal determinism, consider your role as a decisionmaker in the classroom, and how your decision-making both affects the teaching
environment and is affected by the teaching environment. When you begin 3 teaching, you will come equipped with knowledge and beliefs about teaching and
the nature of people that you have acquired over your lifetime. Your choices of
goals for your students, instructional strategies, and classroom management
approaches will all be influenced by your beliefs. Your students and potentially
your overall school environment can be affected by these beliefs and
accompanying decisions. However, you won’t teach in a vacuum. The beliefs and
behaviors of students, parents, administrators, colleagues, and members of the
community are all potentially powerful environmental influences on your
behavior and beliefs. For example, the cultural and life experiences of your
students might make some teaching behaviors more or less effective. You may
find yourself changing your teaching behaviors, or maybe even ultimately your
beliefs. Consider the experience of Tim Johnson, a first-year teacher.
⇒ “I started out believing that students need to do homework every night.
I think homework teaches students responsibility. As you can imagine, I
was very disappointed that so many of my students did not do the
homework. I teach in a very rural environment, and my students have lots
of chores to do in the morning and at night. I’m not sure my view of
homework makes much sense for these students.”
Reciprocal determinism, therefore, highlights the importance of understanding human behavior in terms of the complex interactions between
personal and env...
View Full Document