In general reciprocal determinism means that people

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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...
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