Learning through observation is the process of acquiring information by watching what occurs and processing that information. This type of learning can occur by watching an individual (or pairs collaboratively) model target behavior while providing guidance on completing a task. Observation forms the basis of learning at an early age with most young children learning skills such as language and cultural norms by watching adults. This form of learning is a vital component in both formal classroom learning, such as demonstrations, and informal out-of-school learning, such as learning in after-school programs and school clubs. It is also a component of lifelong learning through practices such as watching how-to videos online. This entry discusses the theory behind observational learning, the use of models in observational ...

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