The observation took place during a normal class session. Peter and Tom are age mates. According to the children age, their growth and development is normal. As stated by Sharman, Cross and Vennis (2004) “The main reason why we observe children is to see what they are able to do in order to plan how to lead them forward.” According to Albert Bandura, environment can cause behaviour and the behaviour can cause environment, whilst children laughed at the Tom`s answer and his not concentrating, their behaviour triggered aggressiveness in Tom. However, Tom finds it difficult to concentrate in class. He may be suffering from Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder and that why he is behaving in the manner he is behaving, by trying to disrupt other children and he is distracted from learning. According to Buttross (2007), “Up to eight per cent of elementary age children in the United States are affected by ADHD with a similar number being reported in other countries”. This disorder sometimes fades away as a child matures. In fact most of the biggest personalities in the world were reported to have suffered this disorder including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
Albert bandura on the other hand tries to explain how behaviour is acquired. He suggests social learning theory. He believes that, a child behaves the way they behave as a result of learning from other people probably role models. This may be the reason why Tom snatched his colleague`s pen and then his ruler as he had probably learnt that from someone as a way of showing disappointment (Bandura & Walter, 1959). Consequently, Peter reacted to Tom`s actions by getting his rule back forcefully. Peter may be acting on reflex. He responded to stimuli which are provocation by Tom`s attitude and rude behaviour.
According to B.F. Skinner as cited in Steinberg, (2011), a behaviour is acquired through operant conditioning whereby a child is likely to repeat a behaviour that has positive reward while abstaining from behaviour with negative consequences. In the case of Tom, he has been behaving in this manner since he had not been punished and he thinks it`s cool to behave that way. According to Behavioural Therapy, a “behaviour that is not reinforced fades away” or is extinguished (Steinberg, 2011).
As noted, when the teacher issues Tom with a warning card he behaves properly for the rest of the day. “The knowledge of what could happen if certain behaviours are chosen can be enough to keep us from acting in certain ways“.(B.F. Skinner`s Behavioural Theory, 2012). Tom realised that his behaviour caused him to be issued with a warning card therefore he decided to behave in a proper way. He understood that his behaviour would results into some consequences.
It is not necessary to put down an outside agency referral on any of the children for additional support at the moment as it appears their behaviour, growth and development is according to their age. The teacher should just be consistency.
B.F. Skinner`s 2012. Behavioural Theory.
Bandura, A., & Walter, R. 1959. Adolescent aggression: a study of the influence of child-training practices and family interrelationships. New York: Ronald Press Co.
Buttross, L. 2007. Understanding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Sharman, C., Cross, W. and Vennis, D. 2004. A Practical Guide Observing Children (3rd edn.). London: Continuum.
Steinberg, L. 2011. Development: infancy through adolescence. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.