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Learning Theory of Career Counseling Essay

The original theory (Krumboltz et al, 1976, Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1990), known as Career decision making social learning theory has recently been improved to the learning theory of career counseling (Krumboltz and Mitchell, 1996). The latest version tries to combine realistic ideas, research, and procedures to offer one hypothesis that goes beyond an explanation of why individuals hunt for various jobs. Most recently, Krumboltz developed and integrated thoughts about the function of chance when it comes to career decision making. Synopsis of the development of this theory is given below.

At the heart of Krumboltz’s thinking is Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (SLT). Bandura identified a total of three types of learning experiences which include:

The Instrumental learning experience
This results from direct experience when an individual is positively reinforced or punished for some behavior and its associated cognitive skills

Associative learning experience
Results from direct experience together with reinforcement when an individual associates some previously affectively neutral event or stimulus with an emotionally laden stimulus.

The Vicarious learning experience
Here is where people learn new behaviors plus skills through observing behaviors of other individuals or even through the media.

1)      SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY OF CAREER DECISION-MAKING (SLTCDM)

This particular theory aims at informing clients career decision making options at the same time utilize the triadic reciprocal interaction concept. The role of instruments and associative learning is also emphasized. The practitioner’s tools are therefore reinforcement and modeling. The application of this theory to practice involves the practitioner’s effort to categorize and correct any wrong beliefs held by the client regarding th process of decision making.

It was developed to answer the following questions:

why people enter particular educational course or jobs;
why they may modify course at some stage in their lives;
Why individuals may show various desires for different activities during different points in their livelihood.
The following are identified as influential in these processes

1.1 Influential factors:

Krumboltz examines the impact of four different groups of factors:

1. Genetic Endowment and Special Abilities

race
gender
Physical looks and traits
People differ both in their capacity to gain from learning experiences and to get access to various learning experiences as a result of such types of hereditary qualities.

2. Environmental Conditions and Events

Social, cultural & political
Economic forces
Natural forces & resources.
They are normally out of every person’s control. Their influence can be planned or unplanned.

3. Learning Experiences

Each individual has a unique history of learning experiences that results choice of profession. They often don’t recall the specific trait or series of these learning experiences, but they also recall those general conclusions from them (e.g. I love animals/working with children). The two main kinds of learning experiences as mentioned in this theory are:

Instrumental learning experience

It consists of:

Preceding circumstances/stimulus;
Behavioral responses (overt & covert);
Consequences.
Associative learning experience

This is where individuals perceive an association involving two or more sets of stimuli in the surrounding. However, this in most cases could result to occupational stereotypes.

4. Task Approach Skills

Interactions with learning experiences, hereditary characteristics, and finally ecological influence result in the improvement of task approach skills.

These include:

personal standards of performance;
work habits;
Emotional reactions
Formerly acquired task approach skills applied to a new undertaking or problem both influence the outcome of that task or hitch may they themselves be modified.

1.2 Resulting cognitions, beliefs, skills & actions:

As a result of the complex interaction of these four types of influencing factors (i.e. genetic endowment, environment, learning and task approach skills), people form generalizations (beliefs) which represent their own reality. These beliefs about them plus the world of work influence their method of approach towards learning new skills and finally affect their ambitions as well as their actions.  . The SLTCDM refers to people’s beliefs about themselves as either:

Observation of the Generalizations:

An overt or covert statement evaluating ones own performance or assessing one’s own benefit and principles. Involves a constant assessment of our own performance;

View of the World Generalizations:

Observations about our environment which is used to forecast what will happen in the future and in other surrounding (e.g. the caring professions).

1.2 Resulting cognitions, beliefs, skills & actions:

As a result of the complex interaction of these four types of influencing factors (i.e. genetic endowment, environment, learning and task approach skills), people form generalizations (beliefs) which represent their own reality. These beliefs about them plus the world of work influence their method of approach towards learning new skills and finally affect their ambitions as well as their actions. The SLTCDM refers to people’s beliefs about themselves as either:


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