What Is Externalizing Behavior

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Teacher’s perception of students with externalizing behaviors is often based on a paucity of skills because teachers believe that they are not adequately trained and they misunderstand the students and their behaviours. Consequently teachers label the students as rude and unwilling to work. The term externalizing refers to inattentive, disruptive and maladjusted behaviours such as aggression, bullying, lying, stealing, hitting and fighting, getting out of their seats, yelling, talking out and cursing, disturbing peers, not completing assignment and outright disregarding teacher’s instructions. Through informal observation it has been noted that children in my institution who display these negative behaviours, more often than
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Additionally suggested articles from peers and a few articles, published as early as 2006 were used. Critical analysis of literature
After sharing a brief historical perspective of behavioural difficulties, the discussion will focus on learning theories (Lamport et al., 2012), teacher’s perceptions (Cassady, 2011, Soles et al. 2008 and Rosenzweig, 2009), concepts of externalizing behaviours (Liu, 2006), staff development and training (McLeskey et al. 2012), technology as a solution to behavioural challenges and intervention models (Anderson, 2012).

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(2012) discuss the importance of addressing the social skills and academic content in the classroom through the social learning theory, observational learning theory and the guided learning theory. They suggest that the Social Learning Theory, conceptualized by Albert Bandura argues that learning both behavioural and cognitive occurs through imitation, demonstration, and observation. The major characteristics of social learning theory include centrality of observational learning, self-efficacy and agency, and cognitive contributions. Modeling and learning takes place through live modeling, verbal instruction, and symbolic modeling. The process involves four major steps: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. In a classroom setting, students with externalizing behaviour observe their peers’ habits and can model those habits to reflect theirs. They also examine the effect of Observational Learning Theory and imply that social interaction as advocated by educational philosophers Piaget and Vygotsky assist students with externalizing behaviours not only learn from their peers but also, they can learn through interaction in the learning environment. They further suggest when students with externalizing behavior are given the opportunity to teach their fellow students they may acquire a sense of belonging, responsibility, and pride. Vygosky’s Zone of Proximal Development using principles of the guided learning theory asserts that students learn

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