Fear is a normal human sensation, the degree, however, may be aberrant and, may refer to some experiential underpinnings in the individual's human development that led to an abnormal level of fear. In human development there are certain milestones that are associated with distinct age ranges (Tiedens, & Leach, 2004). The early years from infancy to early childhood and into adolescence, are pivotal in laying down the neural foundations that control a person’s life later (Tiedens, & Leach, 2004). When fear presents in an aberrant fashion, such as through severe anxiety, depression, or anger, early years in human development should be examined to analyze why that fear exists and the degree to which that fear could be harmful in affecting individual’s personal and social life (Rutledge, 2002).
The Creation and Perpetuation of Fear
According to Hunter (2004), “the energy of fear can be shocking, like shards of glass or stabs of electricity” (p. 60). Hunter also states, “Sometimes the energy can be useful, as preparing for a sporting competition”, and “sometimes the energy can be paralyzing, as when we’re about to speak in public and find no words available” (p. 60). Hunter added that “fears are subjective and changeable, and self-generated fears are easier to tolerate than those that surprise us from external sources” (p.60).
Fear and Athletics
Outstanding performance within elite sport competition often requires simultaneous information processing, decision making, and reactions that are dependent on acquisition of the most relevant visual data from the environment (Singer, 2000). Athletes react differently to the same information they face. As stated by Davis and Sime (2006), “Within elite athlete populations, where physical talent and skill differences are often minute, inter-individual differences in performance are often great, and fluctuations within individual performances are common” (p. 364). Sport psychology tries to address the fact that although some athletes are physically talented enough to complete a task, something prevents these athletes from performing the task. Sport psychology researchers have suggested that anxiety might prevent the completion of sporting activities. Anxiety, in sports and in other life events that require some type of performance, may be based on a fundamental, though aberrant, fear response. Davis and Sime (2006) state that, “the conventional wisdom that has developed within the field is that much of the variance in performance can be attributed to the effects of heightened levels of pre-competition anxiety”. The feelings and emotions that are generated from fear can be positive or negative depending on the manner in which they are used.
Not only must athletes be able to perform the physical task asked of them with limited error, but they must be able to process the information about the objects that are before them during the process of running, eliminate any negative emotion, and, thus, perform the task. According to Davis and Sime (2006), majority of coaches use instructional time to develop physical talents and skills of their athletes and not how to process information about the running skills. Although many coaches require their athletes to focus or concentrate on the instructions given, few athletes fully understand the meaning of those concepts, and they are often left wondering “How, exactly do I do that?” (p. 364).
Effects of fear on academic learning
I asked a faculty member about his experiences after working with a team. The same factors were present in a team atmosphere as in the classroom and cooperative learning. As we discussed learning styles I formulated the following question to drive my research:
Why was there lack of participation from some of the individuals, and would the lack of participation in the classroom or during an athletic event be the most detrimental on a team or in a cooperative learning setting?
The experiential perspective contains cultural experience which guides the individuals in a particular direction. In my field of study, the widespread Behaviorist revolution shifted interest from conscious processes to the results of these conscious processes. The largest circle of this influence came from American society as it transformed from an agricultural sea of island communities to an industrial state with the immense international influence in both wealth and military superiority (Wiebe, 1967). People migrated from rural places built on traditions to cities filled with industry and unfamiliar faces. Thus, they had to learn new ways to socialize and new skills, placing value on the need for social adjustment. This form of behavior continued, and argument that perception and consciousness had value only if they produced adaptive behavior came to the fore (Wiebe, 1967). At this point, theorists also realized that behaviorism could not be defined any further.
The culture and behavior of an individual will directly affect the way he or she perceives the experiences in his or her life based on age and culture (Rutledge, 2002). The practices of a community and whatever else is reinforced on a consistent basis, will contribute to the internal motivation of the developing mind of a child who exists within that particular community (Tiedens & Leach, 2004). As a method of development, cooperative learning can be used in a well structured so that the learning process could take place. The teacher or coach must choose groups of students, through which he or she can facilitate the team work. In both, academics and athletics, these groups reflect a diversity of viewpoints, abilities, gender, race, and other characteristics. Giving students rather than the teachers opportunities to choose groups that suite them best may consequently result to homogeneity that reduces acquisition of social skills, hence, reducing their focus on the learning task (Rutledge, 2002).
Howe (1960) examined quantitative motivational differences between volunteers and non-volunteers for a psychological experiment. He explained some approaches to fear, but not all. In his experiment, Hypothesis 1 predicted that using two different threats of electric shock—strong and weak—more people would volunteer for the weaker electric shock. Hypothesis 2 predicted volunteers would show a stronger approach and weaker avoidance compared with non-volunteers. The strength of the threat was the main independent variable; the increase in anxiety due to the anticipation of the threat was the main dependent variable. But would pre-existing characteristics, such as anxiety, affect the response to the threat? This study will help provide data to explore the response to a threat even with the existence of a motivating factor.
The first variable, Howe used cash, which differentiates the motivation between volunteers and non-volunteers. The second variable, the level of shock treatment, demonstrates motivation behind harm avoidance and shock avoidance. The author established rules, so that the experiment could be observed with clear results and the findings from those observations would be easy to comprehend. This way, there was no bias, and the experiment presented the facts of the experiment clearly, including their methods, subjects, materials and procedures. Two introductory psychology classes at Brooklyn College, each comprised of 89 students, were used as subjects. Each group of students was given a short 20-item form during class session. The class was also told that this was for the purpose of research, and the overseer of this experiment announced that the students would receive cash; the offer of cash was intended to help the experiment appear enticing.
The experiment was described to the class including a mention of electric shock. To one class it was described as weak shock, and to the other class it was described as moderately strong shock. Students were then asked if they would like to participate immediately (within the next 30 minutes), or to delay their participation for 7, 14, or 21 days. On the back of the request form was a short questionnaire for the students to fill out. The form stated that there is currently an increasing amount of experimentation taking place involving shock and stress and a problem of getting enough students to serve as paid subjects. The questionnaire contained three critical items dealing with the subject’s anxiety about electric shock, fear of pain, and fear of injury. The sum of these items was entitled “Shock Avoidance.” Three other items that dealt with the subject’s present and future need for cash were also presented. The sum of these items was entitled “Cash.” A comparison was first made between the weak shock and the strong shock, followed by a comparison of male versus female regarding the avoidance of shock. It was concluded that more subjects volunteered for the weak shock group, but not significantly more, and there were significantly more males than females who volunteered overall. The results showed that volunteers tend to be low rather than high in avoidance motivation.
However, these conclusions were more suggested than supported. For instance, the students who postponed the experiment rather than attended it immediately were considered more anxious. I believe there was no enough information provided concerning the subject, specifically, exploring the possibility that one or more of the subjects may have had a pre-existing anxious personality. The article provided some good facts, but there was no background information given on the subject’s initial level of anxiety.
An experiment described by Constantine and Sue (2007) in Perceptions of Racial Micro-aggressions Among Black Supervisees in Cross-Racial Dyads presents a different view. The purpose of this study was to examine the way a Black supervisee perceived racial micro-aggressions in a White supervisor. Racial micro-aggressions are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, communicating negative or denigrating messages to people of color. Although the framework for this study seems like a natural phenomenon, it was created to obtain retrospective descriptions from Black American trainees of perceived racial micro-aggressions from White supervisors. This study was also an effort to gain an understanding of how micro-aggressions occur and their lasting effects on the supervisees. The qualitative approach to this study allows for a “how” and “why” analysis of racial micro-aggressions. This method also allows for interviews, observations and interaction between the author and each participant. In addition, qualitative methods allow for the discussion of feelings in this study versus straight facts.
The study’s procedure was to select a group of doctoral students in clinical supervision who had experience in working with this phenomenon. The criteria for participation in the study was a Black supervisee relationship with a White supervisor within the past two years, a belief that subtle racism exists, and personal experience with racism in supervision. Ten Black supervisees volunteered for this study—eight females and two males, eight identified as African American, one West Indian and one Black Dominican American, ages ranging from 25 to 38. Six of the supervisees said that their supervisor was a White woman, and the other four said their supervisor was a White man. An interview protocol was created, including literature on aversive racism, racial micro-aggression, cross-cultural and multicultural supervision and supervision outcomes, racial identity theory, and Black Americans’ experiences of racism. The interviews took place in a private office and ranged from 60-95 minutes. None of the participants was reported to have an adverse reaction to the interview, and none of the participants was compensated for participation.
The interviewer chose to use the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), the goal of which is to explore in detail the processes participants use to make sense of their experiences. However, with this type of analysis, the participants’ interpretations are bound by their ability to express their thoughts and describe their experiences. The primary researcher read over the transcripts several times to obtain a further understanding of each participant’s account and identified specific passages that seemed most helpful. The researcher constantly referred back to these passages, comparing them with the other participants’ accounts to identify common themes.
Seven themes were found by Constantine and Sue (2007) which are invalidating racial-cultural issues, making stereotypic assumptions about Black clients, making stereotypic assumptions about Black supervisees, reluctance to give performance feedback for fear of being viewed as racist, focusing primarily on clinical weakness, blaming clients of color for problems stemming from oppression, and offering culturally insensitive treatment recommendations (pp. 142-153).
Elaborating on these themes, “invalidating racial-cultural issues” meant that many of the Black supervisees in this study indicated that their White supervisors minimized, dismissed, or avoided discussing racial-cultural issues. “Making stereotypic assumptions about Black clients” was reported by several Black supervisees, indicating that their supervisors believed various stereotypes about Black clients. “Making stereotypic assumptions about Black supervisees” meant that supervisees were offended, because their supervisors upheld blatant stereotypes, and attempts at open discussion were to no avail. “Reluctance to give performance feedback for fear of being viewed as racist” meant that many supervisors did not give feedback for fear of being labeled as such (Constantine & Sue, 2007).
“Focusing primarily on clinical weakness” was reported by supervisees who stated that their supervisors focused on their weaknesses with no feedback regarding their strengths. “Blaming clients of color for problems stemming from oppression” was derived from supervisors blaming clients for their difficulties, instead of directly addressing issues of racism; clients were told to accept the fact that racism exists and to deal with it. “Offering culturally insensitive treatment recommendations” meant that supervisors’ treatment recommendations were not sensitive to Black culture when they dealt with clients’ family members (Constantine & Sue, 2007, pp. 142-153).
As a Black man in a White majority environment, I experience micro-aggressions all the time, but this study was difficult to execute because it dealt mostly with the subjects’ feelings. The presence of micro-aggressions cannot necessarily be proven, and that makes them hard to address. That is also one weakness of this article. The strengths of this article are in both, the group that was chosen and the pool of questions they were asked. These questions, combined with the themes and the referring to specific experiences by the participants, gave the study credibility. Gaenter and Dovidio (2005) state: “This dilemma reflects the tension between central principles of equality and fairness in the society and the daily operation of systematic prejudice and discrimination, at an individual and societal level, which produces racial inequality and reinforces racial disparities” (p. 617).
Schools are responsible for more than the overt transmission of knowledge, as they also participate in socializing students into approved norms and values. If there are implicit thoughts or a “hidden curriculum” being delivered by the instructor, schools can transmit lessons that were not intended. However, transmission of this hidden curriculum is not obvious to its participants, nor is it expressed in stated educational objectives. Educators seek to make this hidden curriculum apparent in order to eliminate bias and ensure equity.
Fear and its Development
How and when does fear develop? These are the core questions of this study. In order to ensure the issue of fear and its development is addressed to the latter, I included contributions of four human development theorists. The purpose is to compare and contrast their views on fear. I will analyze their contributions and relate them to the effect that fear has on success and failures of students, whether in class work or other extracurricular activities in school.
The four theorists and their theories are: Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development theory, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, B. F. Skinner’s Behavioral Operant, and Albert Bandura’s Reciprocal Determinism. From Piaget’s Cognitive Development, sensorimotor stage: from birth to age 2 years (children experience the world through movement and senses and learn object permanence), the preoperational stage: from ages 2 to 7 (acquisition of motor skills), the concrete operational stage: from ages 7 to 11 (children begin to think logically about concrete events), and the formal operational stage: after age 11 (development of abstract reasoning).
From Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow arranged needs in a hierarchy in terms of their potency. Although all needs are instinctive, some are more powerful than others. The lower the need is in the pyramid, the more powerful is the drive to meet it. The higher the need, the weaker its force is and the more distinctly human it becomes. The lower needs on the pyramid are similar to those possessed by non-human animals, but only humans possess the higher needs.
From Skinner’s Behavioral Operant, the study focuses on the organism's response to its environment, while from Albert Bandura, I will examine Reciprocal Determinism [It will be good to say a few words about this theory too].
I will use all four theories to examine and compare two types of students and two types of athletes. The first type of athlete performs well in a game, but not in practice; the second athlete does well in practice, but not in the game. Similarly, the first type of student does well on tests, but not on homework assignments, and the second does well on homework assignments, but not on tests.
Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development was highly acclaimed and widely used in the field of developmental psychology. Its main concern was the growth of intelligence. Piaget’s definition of intelligence was the ability to accurately represent the world and to perform logical operations on representations of concepts grounded in the world. His theory uses schemata to describe how a person’s view of the world changes as he or she develops mentally. Let us look at the two types of students and athletes in relation to the four theories, starting first with the athlete who performs well in a game, but not in practice.
Piaget and the Athlete
The knowledge of biological sciences is important in understanding the development of fear. In biological terms, the existence of fear may indicate the presence of change to the normal structure or operation of the body, and fear may also indicate an imbalance in the body’s proper functioning. Does an athlete equate his or her advancements on the field with the same cognitive growth as in the classroom, or does he or she excel on the field, but fail to bring those skills into the classroom? Piaget’s assimilation-accommodation model of cognitive growth emphasizes the active, constructive nature of a child.
His model allows one to view cognitive development as a gradual, step-by-step process of structural acquisition and change, with each new mental structure growing out of its predecessor through the continuous operation of assimilation and accommodation. Flavell (1996) summarizes Piaget’s views on this subject and he points out that children are not empty slates that take what the environment offers passively and without choosing. According to Flavell, children possess reasoning abilities that enable them to select the input that is meaningful to them. More so, they have the ability to represent and transform what they select, so that it could reflect their cognitive structures (Flavell, 1996). Therefore, according to Piaget, children’s cognitive structures determine what to take or ignore. The cognitive structures in children enable them to assimilate what they take from their environments and, consequently, this makes them manufactures of their own development (p. 998).
This means that children notice what is important to them; they notice what seems to define them or bring them a meaning. So the question is at what point does a child place more importance on his or her performance on the field rather than in the classroom? A child interprets actions and words not necessarily how they were intended, but how they will help the child to believe in him- or herself. As the child’s body changes, his or her mind also changes, but there must be a balance between physical and mental development (Jones, 2004).
Piaget’s Cultural Aspect
A culture is primarily comprised of its surrounding, structured environment. Our family, friends, religious beliefs, and the languages we speak give us our identity. Piaget recognized that a child’s cognitive behavior is intrinsically, rather than extrinsically, motivated. He also recognized that the cognition of an individual is influenced by his or her environment; he believed that to some degree, social reinforcements affect a child’s curiosity and cognitive exploration, that is, children are built to think and learn (Flavell, 1996). Piaget’s ideas point towards the importance of environment in the development of a child’s mind. Development is the key concept, as the child adapts to and assimilates culturally and biologically to what is presented to him or her in a day to day life.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and their impacts to learning
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory that psychologists, sociologists and educators can use to help them understand how a given individual chooses to act (Jones, 2004). Maslow’s theory encompasses physical needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and the need for self-actualization. Can Maslow’s hierarchy of needs be used only in the fields of psychology, sociology, and education, or can it be applied to specific settings? This theory is based on the assumption that all people have the desire to maximize their potential and strive to do what they are capable of doing. It also points out that after individuals meet the needs in the four lower categories, they will strive to meet the needs in the fifth category (Jones, 2004).
In this category, a person strives to meet the need to excel at something, which can involve choosing to act differently (Jones, 2004, p. 1). Also, at this point in the Hierarchy of Needs, fear or discouragement is learned. It is also at this point that a student or athlete relates his or her self-worth, value, morals and hard work to his or her performance in society, whether on the field or in the classroom. Fear and anxiety is believed to be more focused on in the fifth level, since the student has gained popularity and slight mistake could be very influential for his/her social life, class or on the field if the popularity is from sporting activities.
In biological terms, life depends on an organism’s ability to meet its physiological and safety needs. Physiological needs, as described by Maslow and stated by Jones (2004), include “food, water, clothing, security and sleep, they are by far the strongest and highly motivational” (p. 2) factors. The physiological needs are necessary for life to begin and to continue. The drive and will to have these needs met will highly motivate an individual. Safety needs are another category of needs in which human beings are motivated by instinct. Knowing one is safe from harm, now or in the future, brings a sense of relief to the human mind (Boeree, 2006).
This relief does not only come with a physical safety, but also with the emotional safety that is necessary for learning process. Jones (2004) states: “For example, one person may avoid another person who poses an emotional threat whether may it be through intimidation or manipulation” (p. 2). If a person is hungry and does not feel safe, he or she will not have the confidence to achieve a goal; if a person feels that his or her life is constantly in danger, it is likely that this person will not learn about his or her abilities.
Maslow’s Hierarchy and Cultural Concept
The highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy is self-actualization. Jones (2004) describes it as the level where a person achieves competence in a certain undertaking or masters certain skills in his/her line of duty. Jones points out self actualization to be more that being good at something. This is actually what makes one’s soul satisfied and once the stage is reached, there is no room for more improvements. This is the best stage for an individual to make behavioral change, since one is in control of what is happening in his/her environment. During other hierarchical stages life is full of challenges and making serious behavioral change is not possible (Jones, 2004).
A person cannot reach this level of self-actualization if the first four need levels are not met and confidence is not established. Additionally, a child has the cognitive ability to learn from his surroundings and culture. Therefore, it is evident that a child learns or feels what is necessary to him, and fear can be one of those things (Bar-On, Maree, & Elias, Maurice, 2007). If confidence is not obtained or introduced during the lower phases of Maslow’s hierarchy, another reaction will take its place. As each category, if needs fail to be met, a hesitation or pause occurs in the child’s development before he or she moves to the next level of needs. My question is, will fear fill the void and remove the desire of a person to pursue higher goals? The answer to this question should be got by the completion of the study.
B.F. Skinner’s Behavioral Operant
Boeree (2006) observes that ‘Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning. The organism is in the process of ‘operating’ on the environment, which in ordinary terms means it is bouncing around its world, doing what it does. During this ‘operating,’ the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus called a reinforcing stimulus, or simply, a reinforcer. This special stimulus has the effect of increasing the operant-that is, the behavior occurring just before the reinforcing take place. This is operant conditioning: ‘the behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organism’s tendency to repeat the behavior in the future’”(Boeree, 2006, p. 4). Although Skinner’s research initially used rats, his intention was to understand human beings. Skinner’s research showed that positive feedback is essential, but to what degree does positive feedback affect performance in the classroom or on the field? As Boeree (2006) states, positive (or in some cases negative) feedback can contribute to Skinner’s idea of “shaping,” or “the method of successive approximations” (p. 6).
Although in many cases the two men had very different views, some of Skinner’s work can be traced to Sigmund Freud. Overskied (2007) states that indeed, Freud and Skinner had many things in common, including basic assumptions shaped by positivism and determinism. Most important, Skinner took a clear interest in psychoanalysis. Freud in many areas, such as dreams, symbolism, metaphor use, and defense mechanisms, influenced his views. Skinner drew direct parallels to Freud in his analysis of conscious versus unconscious control of behavior and of selection by consequences (p. 590).
Skinner felt that some types of behavior could be adapted by appealing to defense mechanisms. Skinner also believed that phobias are caused by despair, and that religious zeal stems from phobia formation as do many excessively vigorous behaviors. Skinner also stated that central aspects of his own views of punishment concurred with Freud’s view of repression; his discussion of human behavior also included a connection between repression and denial (Boeree 2006). Overskied (2007) also points out that Skinner believed verbal behaviors “…frequently suggest an escape from suppressing forces” (p. 593). Skinner findings are relevant in this study in the sense they explain on the importance of positive feedback and fear on learning.
Albert Bandura’s study of behavior indicated that an individual’s environment can affect the way he thinks and acts. Boeree (2006) describes Bandura as finding the cause of some phenomena, such as aggression in adolescents, as more complicated than environment causing behavior. He, therefore, added to the model, suggesting that environment causes behavior and behavior causes environment too. He called this Reciprocal Determinism. From there, Bandura proposed that there are three factors in the formation of personality, namely, environment, behavior, and a person’s psychological process. By adding these terms, Bandura theorized much more effectively about two things that many consider the “strong suit” of the human species: observational learning (modeling) and self-regulation (Boeree, 2006).
Bandura’s Bobo Doll (1961 and 1963) studies show the effects of observational modeling and learning. Bandura used a blow-up doll with a particular face on it and filmed a woman punching, kicking, and hitting the doll while yelling, “Sockeroo!” This film was shown to a group of kindergartners who enjoyed the film. The kindergartners were then released into a room containing several of the dolls, and, as expected, they hit, kicked and punched the doll (Boeree, 2006).These children changed their behavior without first being rewarded for approximations to that behavior. While that may not seem extraordinary to the average parent, teacher, or casual observer of children, it did not fit with standard Behaviorist Learning theory. He called the phenomenon observational learning or observational modeling, yet, this theory is usually referred to as Social learning Theory (Boeree, 2006). After conducting a number of these experiments, Bandura observed specific steps in the modeling process. These steps were attention, retention, reproduction and motivation.
In his findings, Bandura confirmed that what take place in our environment has great influence to our behavior. The seriousness of this impact is more in children who are new to their environments. During his Bandura found that children were able to learn what they had seen in the film and when the environment was favorable, they went ahead to implement what they had seen. Therefore the environment had impact on their learning and behavior. Since this study was conducted by Bandura, environment related activities such as so sports have been incorporated in learning especially in small children. Parents have also taken some of Bandura’s findings to improve their parenting abilities (Boeree, 2006).
Parents play a big role in children’s lives, from the youngest who are not yet sure of life, to the school-aged following a path, to older children who are at the end of their journey of development. In the beginning of this journey and even throughout it, parents play a role in establishing who their children are and/or may become in life. As stated by McDevitt and Ormrod (2002), “Parents (like all human beings) may entertain two inconsistent beliefs at the same time without acknowledging or wrestling with the inconsistency” (p. 480). For example, if a set of rules is established by a group of parents, when those rules are enforced on one particular parent’s child, that parent will soon find fault in those same rules. “Furthermore, parents (again, like all human beings) work hard to protect their own self-image” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2002, p. 480) which is reflected in their own children.
For the child, the fight for independence must be won to sharpen the child’s decision-making skills. The parents’ role in this process is to supply the needed realism and adult perspective to their child’s decision-making. McDevitt and Ormrod (2002) assert that by observing his or her accomplishments and/or through the development of self-efficacy, the child internalizes a sense of satisfaction that is necessary for maintaining initiative. However, the child will develop guilt regarding personal needs and desires when a supervising adult discourages him or her from completing a goal independently. As a result, the child questions what he or she is actually capable of, and may reshape future actions taking initiative and taking on challenging goals, which, in turn, may not reflect the child’s natural abilities, but a more limited repetition (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2002). It is worth noting that adults, both parents and teachers, have an important role in offering ‘hidden curriculum’ to children.
The curriculum artifact that I have chosen to analyze is the “hidden curriculum.” The word “hidden” means that the school, whether it realizes it or not, gives the student(s) information that is not within the “official” curriculum. This information can be transmitted by the staff associating and socializing with the students, suggesting that they accept certain beliefs or values. Educational leaders must try to reveal these hidden lessons in fear that these will create bias and, in turn, create unequal learning environment. Because this curriculum is social in nature, its content is revealed at modeling level, where the social environment or cultural climate allows it to continue (Overskied, 2007). Proper hidden curriculum to children will facilitate establishment and strengthening of a learning culture in children.
Effect of Culture on learning
We do not know how the practices that occur in local communities add up beyond particular subsets of culture to form larger patterns; some big-pattern aspects of culture may not be simply the invention of a cultural analyst, but may exist in the world. Moreover, we think of general patterns of culture without presuming that those broadly distributed patterns add up to a single whole: the culture of each whole society, or one culture of each social group within a society. However, the culture of an individual will directly affect the way he or she perceives his/her experiences in life.
Bullying can be thought of as changing the patterns or growth of an individual in a negative manner with long-term effects. “The impact of ongoing bullying can be long-lasting and devastating for the bullied person” (Townend, 2007, p.70). Shame placed on an individual or community may contribute to negative growth. Hunter (2004) points out that “Shame is not the result of our doing something bad and feeling awful about it. Shame occurs as a result of feeling responsible for something we did not do, which is why it is so paralyzing” (p. 122). The claim that shame adequately designates a single system of effect is debatable; however, it serves as a starting point for exploring a systematic link between social effect and relationship (Tiedens & Leach, 2004, p. 65). Researchers Kaiser and Major (Tiedens & Leach, p. 65), purport that in society, some social groups are valued and respected, while others are devalued and disrespected. To continue, some social groups are provided with educational or employment opportunities and others are denied the same opportunities (p. 270). This shows how our culture affects our behavior, our decision and our learning abilities and how we relate with people with different cultures.
Our cultures affect our behavior and as Stiff and Van Vugt (2008) put forth reputations influence an individual’s decisions concerning with whom he will interact and who he will avoid (p. 156). Bar-On, Maree, and Elias (2007) argue the importance of emotional intelligence in creating relationships, as emotional intelligence allows one to be aware of one’s emotions and oneself in general, to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses, and to be able to express one’s feelings non-destructively (p. 2). In spite of external influence, practices consistently reinforced in a community or society will contribute to the internal motivation of a child’s developing mind, and this includes fear.
It is therefore evident that our social life plays a very crucial role during our learning process. The most affected group is the children since they are new to the environments. Generally, it is our environments that determine our behavior and learning. This environment can create fear among individuals thereby hindering the learning process or on the other hand create conducive learning environment. Our cultural practices also affect our behavior and learning abilities especially in children. It is therefore the role of parents, guardians and teachers to ensure that children in multicultural schools are not hampered by their cultural background from learning. On the contrary, teacher and parents should come with ‘hidden curriculums’ that promote learning process in multicultural schools.
Fear refers to a negative sensation in response to a perceived threat; for the individual that has not developed a well-grounded sense of self confidence, and has had limited interaction with others. Fear response may be greater due to the lack of experience and confidence (Tiedens & Leach, 2004). The paper discusses various forms of fear and theories from different theorist on how fear is created and its effects to individual performance. The paper begins by discussing the creation and Perpetuation of fear. It goes further to discuss the effect of fear in athletes and in academic learning. Several studies and experiments by researchers are evaluated to explain how fear affects learning process both at individual and group level.
The paper also explains fear and its development. This involves evaluation of the work of four theorists who have contributed greatly in explaining fear development and its effects to individual achievement especially in leaning. The four theorists and their theories are: Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development theory, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, B. F. Skinner’s Behavioral Operant, and Albert Bandura’s Reciprocal Determinism.
The paper also discusses the role of parents, adults in children development and how they can help children overcome impacts of fear. Other than fear, the paper also discusses other factors that affect learning process such as culture and individual behavior. The paper concludes by explaining how these factors can be used to improve learning especially in multicultural schools.