Determinants of School Learning

A reciprocal determinist view of behavior emphasizes transactions between person and environment (Bandura, 1978; Lewin, 1951; Walsh, Craik, & Price, 1992). From this perspective, school learning is the product of the interplay among student and school variables. Each student brings to school adaptive, assimilated schemata consisting of capacities and attitudes accumulated over time, as well as current states of being and behaving. These variables transact with each other and with variables encountered at school and in coping with school requirements outside school (Adelman & Taylor, 1994).

Variables related to formal school learning encompass not only instructional processes and content but also the physical and social contexts in which instruction and related practice are the primary focus. Informal learning is the product of the many variables impinging on a student during times when instruction is not the agenda and occurs in settings such as the playing field, eating areas, and hallways, as well as in classrooms.

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