Part A: Critical Reflections and summary of two selected readings

Critical Reflection on “Writing on the Wall: Culture, Identity, and Politics”

In the essay “Writing Wall: Culture, Identity, and Politics” in “Faces of Latin America,” Green Duncan & Branford reviews various cultures, identities, and political orientations in the suburbs and shanty towns of Latin America. In the essay, the authors identify Latin America people by their love for telenovela or soap opera. In almost every household that owns a television set, it is not a surprise to find everyone settling down in front of the latest soap opera to enjoy the show. Besides, even those who do not own TV sets in the neighborhoods often drop by for the show and begin an animated discussion concerning the latest twist in the bewildering plot. Specifically, in the late 1980s, about 40 million Mexicans, which approximately a half of the country’s population regularly tuned in for “Cradle of Wolves” which was a lurid account of a ruthless heroine who had an eyepatch committed various gruesome killings. 

From the show, it can also be seen that the authors portray Latin American as being identified more by their literature and music than for soap. However, this fact does not reflect the actual views of the Latin American people because they are deeply rooted in the culture of soap opera. This fact reveals the misconception about the culture of Latin American people by the European and North American countries. Similarly, the authors recall that political practices of Latin America are characterized by traumatic events such as conquest and murder of other leaders, which are still happening today. Notably, Latin America’s music, costumes, and dances are unique and inseparable and often form part of their annual round ritual celebrations. In the essay, it can be seen that the cultural practices of the indigenous Latin American people such as religion were replaced with Catholic forms of worship to appease the colonial authorities. However, it is evident that some of the indigenous cultural practices like carnival brass bands and devil dance have since become tourist attractions in towns.

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Critical Reflection on “What do Mexicans Celebrate on the ‘Day of the Dead?”

In the essay, “What do Mexicans Celebrate on the ‘Day of the Dead?” by Salvador, the author gives an account of one of the most important festive holiday in Mexico. The author tries to find the meaning of the “Day of the Dead”. As a result, the author notes that it is an ancient festive that has been transformed throughout the years. Specifically, the author points out that in the pre-Hispanic Mexico, the festive was intended to celebrate children and the dead and has since transformed. According to the author, the festive allows families to remember their dead love ones and to allow for continuity of life (Carmichael, Elizabeth, and Chloe Sayer). As a result, one may want to know why the holiday is not a morbid occasion, but rather a festive time.

The authors claims that it has a complicated history thus, its observance slightly differs region by region and by degree of urbanization. For instance, the holiday has even been moved by Spanish priests to make it coincide with the Christian holiday of Hallows Eve, which shows how important the holiday is to the people of Mexico (Jance). This fact explains why the modern festive is characterized by traditional Mexican blend of ancient aboriginal and induced Christian elements. Overall, the festive entails families remembering and welcoming their dead loved ones back into their homes and also make visits to the graves of their close relatives (Carmichael, Elizabeth, and Chloe Sayer). During the celebrations, the families often believe that the souls of their dead close relatives return and hang out with them during picnic events, thus explaining the warm colorful and social environmental setting during this holiday celebrations. The families value the interaction between the dead and the living, which is a form of recognizing the cycle of life and death, which describes the nature of human existence (Jance). The decoration of the environment is also done to appease the dead to return to participate in their remembrance. In short, the “Day of the Dead” can be understood as a cultural event that has a definite social and economic obligations for the participants.

Part B: Essay:  The relationship between art and politics reflected in Mexican Muralism

Mexican muralism stems from the mural painting, which is the art of painting images on the walls or ceilings. Mexican Muralism provides an opportunity to represent Mexican cultural through the relationship between art and politics. Originally, Mexican Muralism was spawned by the Porfirio’s Regime as well as the conservative Mexican Revolution (Anreus et al). Originally, murals were utilized as a way of spreading visual messages to the illiterate population that opened up new possibilities in the inclusion and cohesiveness of community within people (Heidenry 122). Often, the relationship between art and political was represented in Mexican Murals in a form of drawings of political propaganda (Anreus et al). As a result, the murals bypassed more traditional forms of advertising and pamphlet printing to represent politics in art form so that the illiterate population could understand. Through art, murals ensured that everyone in the community was aware of the political issues happening in the society (Siqueira-Batista 149). Murals liberated art from art market and its elitism, thus making it free and available to all people and gave them greater political exposure.

In some cases, even the mural artist who were commission by the government and other authoritative bodies would reject the direction they were told to follow, and instead, create artistic works that included of their ideas and values, criticizing the governments or authoritative powers. Even though some of their artistic works proved to be controversial, they got away with them. Murals form of art would later influence the modern graffiti and street art scenes that people used to communicate their political points of view. As a result, art play an essential role in the revolution that lead to the liberation of Mexico. There is no doubt that Mexican Muralism was the driving force behind the revolution that saw the political powers handed over to the indigenous people.

In other parts of the globe such as the United States, Mexican Muralism, the art of painting political contents on walls developed as a tool for the Latino minorities who lived in the country to express their political dissatisfaction. Basically, Mexican Muralism depicted clear political messages (Heidenry 125). For instance, mural arts depicted working class, who were placed at the bottom of the mural to represent the position they occupied at the bottom of the social order (Siqueira-Batista 143). At the bottom, the arts depicts the working class busy fighting amongst themselves, while the rich enjoy their luxurious banquets. Some arts entailed distorted faces and bodies of the wealthy in the upper register of the murals, which represented their decadence and misuse of power. 

Works Cited

Anreus, Alejandro, Leonard Folgarait, and Robin Adèle Greeley, eds. Mexican Muralism: a critical history. Univ of California Press, 2012.

Carmichael, Elizabeth, and Chloe Sayer. The skeleton at the feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991.

Green Duncan & Branford, Sue. Faces of Latin America, 4th Edition. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Heidenry, Rachel. "The murals of El Salvador: Reconstruction, historical memory and whitewashing." Public Art Dialogue 4.1 (2014): 122-145.

Jance, Judith A., and Tim Jerome. Day of the Dead. William Morrow, 2004.

 Salvador, Ricardo J. “What Do Mexicans Celebrate on the ‘Day of the Dead’?” Death and Bereavement in the Americas. Death, Value and Meaning Series. Ed. J. D. Morgan and P. Laungani. Vol. 2. NY: Baywood Publishing, 2003. Web. 05 Jan. 2006.

Siqueira-Batista, Rodrigo, Mendes, Pinio M., Fonseca, Julia D., &Maciel, Marina D. “Art and Pain in FridaKahlo.”Rev. Dor. Sao Paulo, 15.2(2014): 139-144. Web, 21 March 2018

Exploration Project One: Religion in my Neighborhood I was born and raised in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. I live on the 22nd street along Lyndale Avenue in Uptown. This part of Minneapolis is characterized by its diversity in religion and represents a real testament of the multiplicity of means through which America's diverse traditions and beliefs find common ground. More so, it is a base to one of the extensively assorted landscapes in the aspect of religions in the whole nation. According to the United States national history, it is perceived that the city of Minneapolis was religiously founded and the inhabitants demonstrated their religious passion within the community by constructing new churches during the 18th century (O'Neal et al., 2007). Indeed, Minneapolis is documented as to have been the first city in which the first basilica was elected in North America. Initially, the city was dominated by the Christian religion, however, this religion has progressively been replaced by other faiths and denominations. Hence, this region of Minneapolis can be equated to a gentle pot of religious multiplicity that is slowly melting, weaving, and fusing in uniformity to paint the vibrant picture it now represents (Oxtoby & Hussain, 2011). From my experience in this region, I can affirm that the consolidation of these diverse religions has brought into the limelight values such as volunteerism, good health, the focus on safety, and diversity that represent the best of the Minneapolis community. Religious organizations found in this region include; Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Afro-Caribbean, Islam, and paganism. For my exploration, I will cover the context of specific religious organizations that are located in the area that stretches from Nicollet Avenue to East Calhoun parkway and from 36th street to Franklin Avenue. My everyday tasks and activities take me to different parts of my neighborhood where I come across an array of religious groups and organizations. Some of these religious organizations and faiths carry out their congregational and worship activities in established buildings and structures that I happen to have come across. Other organizations turn facilities that are meant for business purposes, into places of worship during worship days. Therefore, there are many faiths organizations within this area where people go to worship in accordance with their beliefs and perceived values. The first religious organization I will delve into, is the Evergreen Church- New Hope, a Christian church located at 3351 Independence Ave N, New Hope, MN 55427 (Cooke et al., 2011). This church is founded on the belief that the gospel of Jesus Christ actively changes people's lives. The church's website is definitive in that the believers who worship in the Evergreen Church- New Hope believe in one God (Vander, 2010). Their God is the creator of the universe. According to them, their God takes three forms: God the Father who is also the Creator, Jesus Christ who is the son of God, and the Holy Spirit. The church believes that they worship God who possesses infinite power, love, justice, goodness and wisdom. The church also teaches the believers to believe in the scripture as a sole basis of their beliefs. The church is categorical that the scripture was fully, verbally, and uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit and the original template under which it was derived was without any known errors. In addition to these beliefs, the church also views man as an image of God though the man has been corrupted and condemned divinely because of disobedience towards his creator (Schuman, 2010). Their Christian virtues address the significance of the Holy Communion, baptism, and sowing the gospel into believer's lives through community relationships and teachings. The Evergreen Church- New Hope holds different values that guide its believers in life-related activities and those related to how human beings should co-exist. Sowing the gospel is one of the key values that demonstrates the commitment of the church in directing the church's flock. According to the church, the context of sowing the gospel together with co-workers, friends, and family members offers the believers of the church new hope in their lives. The church also instills into its believers the value of spiritual growth. The church suggests that the spiritual growth of a believer should be focused on attaining an all-rounded maturity (Schuman, 2010). The practicalities of attaining spiritual growth are founded on such doctrines as the consistency in practice that embrace basic spiritual disciplines of praying and reading the bible. Other doctrines are related to the believer's discovery of hi/her spiritual gifts, application of biblical financial stewardship, seeking God's first and foremost, acquiring finances and honoring god with those finances, and commitment to a relationship that offers mentorship and accountability. The second religious organization that is located in our neighborhood and which I will offer an insight is the African-Caribbean religion. In particular, I will look at the African-inspired religious organization referred to as Santeria. Santeria refers to the way of saints. This religion has its roots in Cuba and most of the congregation is constituted of immigrants from that part of the world (Fernández & Paravisini-Gebert, 2011). Down the street, about half a mile from where I live, worshippers of this faith congregate at one of the believer's home to undertake their worship activities and observe their rituals that pertain to their beliefs and traditions. The beliefs of the Santeria group is based on their acknowledgment of a supreme God and a multiplicity of other mortal beings such as Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes and Nuestra Señora de la Caridad in everyday life (Fernández & Paravisini-Gebert, 2011). Some of the motor beings held in high regard by the Santeria practice have also been homologized by the Catholic faith where they have been given the Saint accolade. Orichas or the deities derived from Regla de Ocha form the foundations of the group's beliefs. Similar in practice to the Greek mythology and catholic saints, the Regla de Ocha mortal gods also undergo syncretizing. The practitioners of this faith employ faith objects from their motherland which include; herbs, statues, beads, beads, and oils. Moreover, the believers of this religion believe in the healing of soul and body which is affected by their spiritual leaders such as Steve Quintana. According to them, the spiritual leader's roles are multifaceted in that, they adopt the roles of spiritual healers, doctors, and psychologists. Thus, thus this religion is uniquely different from other religion in regard to the way it observes its practices and beliefs. For instance, the believers, healing rites embrace the application espiritismo, a Cuban healing rite that uses flowers, water in glasses, and colognes to affect healings (Fernández & Paravisini-Gebert, 2011). Additionally, they use smoke from tobacco cigars to invoke spirits. Additionally, the faith observes the ritual of initiation, divination, and rites related to sacrifices to their mortal gods. According to their teachings, the believers should strive to achieve the highest levels of the system of these rituals that conform with the table of Ifa (Flores-Peña & Evanchuk, 2011). Another unique distinction that defines this religion is their significant part of ache-or the life-force carried out in religious ceremonies. This ritual is demonstrated in the vision of the world from the religions' perspective. Their theology, religiosity, and worship permeate animate and inanimate beings in this vision. To invoke this vision into any being energy is sought from the blood of animals and embedded into sacred stones referred to as otanes through bathing the stones in this blood. The third and last religion organization I would like to base my exploration on is the Judaism religion. For this exploration, I will focus on a synagogue where worshipers of this faith congregate and which is located in my neighborhood. The Kenesseth Israel Congregation synagogue is situated at St. Louis Park at 4330 W. 28th street. It is a Jewish congregation that is Torah observant and was established 126 years ago in suburban Minneapolis (Boustan et al., 2010). The synagogue oversees two services that are referred to as Shabbos and Shacharit. The Shabbos service commences at 8:45 am every day in the morning. The Shacharit service commences at 6:30 am during Mondays and Thursdays. Also, on Sundays and national holidays, the church administers the Shacharit service at 8:00 am. The church has many congregants who amount to approximately 400 believers. The religion taught to Judaism believers at Kenesseth Israel Congregation synagogue is focused primarily on the concepts of cosmology that acknowledge the God's nature, the universe, the belief in man's nature, the existence of life and afterlife as proclaimed by the Jewish and kabbalah mysticism (Boustan et al., 2010). Specifically, the Kenesseth Israel Congregation synagogue instills in its followers that there are no other doctrines, mandates, or prerequisite beliefs that exist outside the doctrines of Jewish and kabbalah mysticism. The synagogue also directs its followers to seek their own opinions in all the matters addressed by this mysticism. The synagogue is focused on building the relationship between its followers and God and the relationship between mankind. Apart from Sabbath prayers, some of the other rituals observed at Kenesseth Israel Congregation synagogue are related to the observation of kosher or the laws as proclaimed by the Jewish dietary. The leaders of the synagogue also guide its worshipers in observing the commandments of torah which are referred to as mitzvot and are perceived to be divine. The 613 commandments and especially the rabbinic laws form a significant part of the of the followers' beliefs (Boustan et al., 2010). Other beliefs enshrined in this faith are related to circumcision, funerals, mourning, naming of newborns, firstborns' redemption, weddings, and worship. To conclude, the religions I have explored above perceive their exclusive ways in terms of their perspective on life and beliefs in immortal objects. The Kenesseth Israel Congregation synagogue has many followers and closely observes the principles that guide Judaism (Grotius 2012). The Evergreen Church- New Hope attracts many Christian believers in my neighborhood and also teaches the believers to observe peaceful human co-existence through love and donations to the poor. The African-Caribbean religion believers are not many in my neighborhood and they usually congregate in small groups in one of the believers' home. Moreover, not much is known about their ways of worship. Overall, these religions teach more about divination in their own unique ways. Thus, it is up to the inhabitants of this region to choose the religion of their choice (Boustan et al., 2010). Exploration Project Two: Participant Observation in a Monotheist Religion I born in the late 1980's in this area of Minneapolis into a family that constituted of two boys and two girls and many members of the extended family. At a tender age of three years, I learned that my family used to observe some unique rituals at different times of the day. For instance, when the time came for the family to take their meals, our parents will ask my elder brother to pray for the meal. He did so by asking a divine being, that I later came to learn was known as God, to bless our meal and not to forsake those who did not have such a meal. He continued to ask the Supreme Being to offer our family more of such meal on our next meal. When it came the time to go to sleep, our parents would ask as to stay silent for a word of prayer to the same Supreme Being. Our parents were very strict on observing prayers and they always reminded us that if we prayed to this Supreme Being, we will always be assured of our safety since the Supreme Being would grant us the protection and guidance that we required at the time. On Sundays, my elder siblings would not go to school or perform any duties, rather, we would all accompany my parents and the other members of our extended family to a building where we would meet many strangers. The people in this building at times worshiped, sang, or stayed in silence when one of the strangers addressed them. When I attained the age to go to school and gained a little knowledge about humankind. I became aware that all these rituals we observed as a family was because of our parents' devotion to religion. More so, ours was a Christian religion and as the religion demanded, we were supposed to worship God as the Supreme Being and only to him were we supposed pray to help us with our perceived needs. I later learned that, like me, my parents had been born into a Christian family and it was their duty to instill into me this religion. When I started attending school, I met other kids who would observe prayers and other rituals just as the ones we observed in our family. However, other kids did not practice rituals such as praying before they took any meal. This intricate discovery would hence confuse me more since I wondered the reason as to why these kids were different. When I asked my parents about my new discovery, they let me know that friends observed practices similar to ours since we believed in the same faith. They also informed me those kids whom I perceived to be different indeed came from a different religion that was divergent from our beliefs. More so, their religion held different beliefs that were also divergent from what we believed in. as I continued towards maturity, I came to understand what religion really meant and as to why other people would hold divergent beliefs to those of mine. In my new understanding, there were multiple religions which one could follow. The prerogative and the choice to follow and believe in a specific religion squarely rested on an individuals' interests, needs, or family affiliations towards a specific religion. I learned that these religions affected the activities, behaviors, and way of life of those who believed in them. Moreover, in some of these religions, the believers held in high esteem the doctrines and values that guided them. I eventually made friends with Jewish students during the latter stages of my schooling years. My new friends followed and practiced the religion of Judaism. They would observe practices such as the morning prayers in their own strictness. These players would be held in togetherness at exactly 8:45 am in the morning and the group would go ahead with dedicating some time to worship and sing together after the prayers. Later, I came to learn that these players were known as Shabbos and were supposed to be observed with dedicated strictness as premeditated by some laws that guide the religion of Judaism (Bates, 2011). The doctrines of their religions were slightly different from my Christian beliefs in some unique aspects. These intrigues captured my attention and I became interested in learning and finding out more about the religion of Judaism. My curiosity to learn more about Judaism drove me to read scriptures and materials that were always brought by my friends when they attended any of their many functions. I also read materials online that addressed the topics concerning the Judaism religion on the internet. Nonetheless, the materials from the internet and those given to me by friends could not satisfy the depth of knowledge I wanted to gain concerning the religion of Judaism. To get the information I required, I realized that I had to participate in that religion. Moreover, to do so would demand that I attend most of their functions and ceremonies. In the real sense, this project presented me with a great opportunity of continuing at a point where I left my previous research. For this project, I asked my friends if I could accompany them to their prayer meetings and other functions. Since I started accompanying them, I have researched more about Judaism, participated in many of their functions, shared some of their beliefs, and enjoyed some of their mastery teachings. Moreover, I have found out that the religion of Judaism has so much to offer and invokes some interesting history. From a traditional perspective, the Jewish beginnings are anchored on patriarchal narratives enshrined in the Hebrew holy book (Bates, 2011). The narratives try to infer to Israelites or the Jewish ancestor's attempts of trying to discern their origins during the medieval ages. In these attempts, the Jewish people try to distinguish their cultures from that eastern culture by monotheistic nature. The narratives and myths about the origins of Judaism have been inferred through the Jewish generations. The beginnings of Judaism is closely interlinked to a nomadic herder who was known as Abraham. According to Hebrew bible, Abraham and God agreed on unrestricted covenant regarding two concomitant divine agreements. These agreements were related to the unlimited tenure and progeny of the land of Canaan. The myth then lays the foundations of Judaism through the tribulations of Abraham and his family in the land of Canaan. The narratives then offer three constructs of evolution that include the kingdom of Judah, the Rabbis prophesy, and the emergence of Torah (Bates, 2011). These constructs try to consolidate the Judea culture into a classical Judaism that was eventually regarded as a way of life. Therefore, from a traditional perspective is more than a religion in that; it attempts to preserve the Jewish link to the religion of Israelites and by far extend those beliefs to the coming generations. One of the elemental aspects of Judaism is the synagogue. According to Judaism, the synagogue symbolizes the sacred place where Abraham had the unconditional covenant with god. The synagogue admits no artistic inventions, statues, or frescos because it is a holy place and it should be kept clean. This doctrine of abstraction is reflected by the curtains that surround the holy arc. While the curtains are embroidered with beauty, they possess no artistic decoration. The holy arc in Judaism is the symbolic representation of the commandments given to Moses by God and it is holily preserved in a similar way that the believers should preserve the teachings and the religion of Judaism (Raphael, 2011). The non-elemental context of Judaism is intricate in its nature and the beliefs of this religion are observed with a matching intricacy. Of these intriguing beliefs that captivated me during this project, is the three essentials of the traditional liturgy that are consolidated in the marking of all daily, Sabbath, and festival services. These liturgies are; the recitation of hymns in psalms, the devotion in silence or the amidah benedictions, and the Shema Yisrael. According to Judaism, these aspects of worship are enshrined in God act of revealing his law or Torah (Raphael, 2011). The Jews who follow this law to the end are God's example to the rest of the universe. Moreover, the liturgies are sensual patterns of expression of one's faith and therefore should be observed by practitioners of Judaism. The recitation aspect is based on Judaism belief and enshrined in biblical Shema. Additionally, the eighteen non-elemental aspects of benediction invoke the scriptural responsibility of those who believe in Judaism to incorporate the rabbinic interpretation. The practice of Judaism incorporates the spirit of volunteerism in helping the needy. Although the religion of Judaism is divergent from other religions, this humane aspect bridges this divergence. Also, the religion of Judaism encourages the co-existence and cooperation among mankind through fellowship. This unique virtue is also embraced by other faith organizations and it offers an opportunity to anyone willing to merge with Judaism. Exploration Project Three: Participant Observation in an Asian Religion When I joined the University of Minnesota for my undergraduate studies, I made many friends who practiced diverse religions. The university, like the entire nation of United States, was indeed a landscape of religious pluralism. Shivansh Kabir was one of my friends and he doubled up as my roommate. This meant that I had ample time to interact with him during my time at the university. Shivansh was born and brought up in India in a Buddhist family where he attended government schools from an early age. He performed exemplary in his college education and eventually secured a fully paid government scholarship to study in the United States for his undergraduate studies. During our undergraduate years, Shivansh used to practice Buddhism and observed the rituals of his religion with a lot of passion. Overall, one could see his dedication towards his religion through his exuberance in observing the beliefs under his faith in Buddhism. At night after our evening meals, Shivansh would clear the space where we put our small dining table. He would proceed to remove his shoes and to sit on the floor with his legs-crossed. He would insinuate to be sitting in front of an altar of an imaginary temple observing the rituals of an absent statue of Amida Buddha. All this time I used to sit and watch him observe the rituals of his faith in amazement and curiosity. After completion of his religious rituals, Shivansh would tell me that the rituals he had just observed before the imaginary altar constituted to fundamental dharma expressions of his Buddhism faith. He informed me that dharma was the teaching of Buddha that had been passed down the generations. According to Shivansh, the dharma teachings was the practice of every Buddha with the term in its essence referring to the repetitive nature of these rituals. He informed me that the practice of observing meditations while sitting with his legs crossed, was a ritual that is applied to affect Awakening among their gods (In Miller, 2014). Such intrigues would leave me speechless and awaken the curious being within me that wanted to know more about shivansh peculiar faith. A faith that I had never been close and interacted with prior to meeting Shivansh. During a break in our last year of study at the university, Shivansh invited me to accompany him to India for holidays. I promptly agreed since the chance of traveling to India presented me with a perfect opportunity to research on this project. Moreover, this opportunity will help me settle my curiosity to understand the religious contours and intricacies of the Asian continent. We were a week away from our departure to India, and I waited for the day of our journey like an expectant child with immeasurable eagerness while wishing that minutes could overrun hours, and hours could overrun days. We eventually boarded our plane and had a flight to India's capital city of New Delhi. We touched down at the city's international airport during afternoon hours and we took a taxi to the city center of New Delhi. New Delhi welcomed us with its ever-busy environment that was characterized by the sea of people, cramped up buildings, industries in every corner of the street, beggars lined up on the streets, and the heavy traffic of public service vehicles. {loadmoduleid 184} Amidst this confusion, however, I did not fail to notice the artistically and precisely built temples that were embroidered in the paraphernalia of beauty. The awe and beauty of these temples were overly striking, they were nothing like the temples back in Minneapolis. In one word; they were captivating. This was exactly the allure that had brought me all the way from my city of Minneapolis and came searching for in India. I spent the rest of my holiday in India observing and participating in Buddhism rituals with Shivansh and his family members. The experience was heavenly and captivating. When the time came for us to come back to Minneapolis, I felt that I had gained a lot of knowledge about the faith of Buddhism that was enough to furnish my curiosity. In Minneapolis, on a Sunday, shivansh invited me to the Indian community temple known as the Minnesota Hindu Dharmic Society Vishnu Mandir located at 3114 Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411. The Minnesota Hindu Dharmic Society Vishnu Mandir temple is one of the biggest temples in this region of Minneapolis with a large Buddhists congregation of Indian origin. On Sunday morning, the ringing of a bell and the drumbeats opened the service of this very temple. When the doors to the temples opened, I entered the temple and was enthralled by what I deemed as statues at the altar. The service began almost immediately, with a sermon from one leader who seemed to be directing those sermons to the altar; most conspicuous part of the temple with its centrally sited, shimmering image of Amidah Buddha. According to the Buddhism faith, the Amida Buddha is the most honored among the many bodhisattvas and buddhas (Piyadassi et al., 2005). The Buddha is the foundation of purity in the faith of Buddhism. The sermon service was closely followed by hymn singing. This section of worship closely resembles that of American Protestantism. The priest then read from the scriptures and invited one of his fellow priests to observe remembrance to the deceased members of their congregation. The priest then proceeded to offer birthday messages of goodwill to children of the community. The priest then led the congregation who sat in the pews in performing three congregational chants. The chants were known as Respectful Invitation and were observed in a soft monotone chant. They were recited as follows; ‘We respectfully call upon Tathagatha Amida to enter this dojo; we respectfully call upon Shakyamuni to enter this dojo; we respectfully call upon the Tathagathas of the ten directions to enter this dojo' (Piyadassi et al., 2005). The chants were followed by inferring to namo amida butsu. Later that day I went back home and shared my experience with my siblings who were enthralled. The emergence of Buddhism in the American society more than 2,500 years ago designates a story with an epoch-making (Piyadassi et al., 2005). For centuries, the faith in Buddha has sculptured the religious landscape and lives of people in the Asian continent. Its institutionalization in schools, philosophical context, arts, and rituals have impacted the lives of Asian society from Indonesia to japan and from Tibetan valleys to Iranian deserts. Thus, for thousands of years, this faith has evolved numerously and incorporated many cultures and as it integrates into the American culture, it continues to evolve gradually (Piyadassi et al., 2005). Nevertheless, to understand its integration it is vital to first understand the basics of this, and both the elemental and non-elemental contexts of American Buddhism that were visible to me at the Minnesota Hindu Dharmic Society Vishnu Mandir temple. The non-elemental influence of the faith is founded in dharma. Dharma refers to the consolidation of the beliefs and faith of Buddhism. The main focus of these beliefs is to alienate samsara. Samsara refers to reincarnation or the cycle of rebirth. In the event a Buddhist escapes reincarnation, he/she achieves nirvana. Nivarna is the heaven of a Buddhist which is holy home according to Buddhism beliefs. Nivarna infers to escapism and is a home where those who have achieved deliverance from suffering, sorrow, and pain finally experience relief and joy while having a bliss (Piyadassi et al., 2005). The teachings of dharma guide the believers of Buddhism in finding a way to reach nirvana. Dharma instruct that, nivarna can only be attained by believers if they observe Pativedhanana. Pativedhanana refers to the Four Nobel Truths of Buddha. These are non-elemental aspects that designate the wisdom of realization. They include; the consolidation of suffering or dukkha, which informs that Buddha is categorical that life is defined by sorrow and pain and those who believe otherwise are in a state of illusion. The second noble truth informs on the origin of suffering or Tanha. The dharma is scriptural on tanha by proclaiming that the origin of suffering is founded by false desires in humans that deceive one into establishing an attachment to the [passing universe. The third truth of nobility refers to overcoming of the eventual suffering. It is also known as the Nirodha or the moment of cessation. It clears on the procedure of escaping the false desires. The fourth and last truth of nobility refer to the way of life for every Buddhist. It offers the concrete ways to achieve nivarna. Elemental objects and symbols were visible at the Minnesota Hindu Dharmic Society Vishnu Mandir temple. These objects were a representation of the beliefs related to Buddhism. The first object was the banner at the altar which designated the triumph of the Buddhism religion over evil. The second object was a representation of two fishes. This representation of the deliverance of the living beings from the ocean of the earthly evil. The third symbol was that of the white Parasol. It symbolized the protection of a good being from evil desires. More so, there was the conch Shell, which insinuates the relief of glorification that one experiences upon leaving the path of the wicked ways. The knot that has multiple recurring knots signifies the reincarnation or the rebirth cycle. The wheel signifies the transformation undergone by beings when they align with the dharma teachings. The treasury of all the spiritual gain is represented by the vase. The symbol of the soul's progress is indicated by a lotus (Piyadassi et al., 2005). I have been to many places where religious rituals are practiced. I have also made friends with people who practice a different religion from mine, however, I have to admit that Buddhism is uniquely different. Nevertheless, even though this belief is very diverse from my Christian beliefs, it is in some aspects similar. The dharma teaches that for one to reach nivarna, one has to leave out the earthly desires. In Christianity, the bible informs of the same if one is determined to achieve the promise of heaven. I am however critical on the subject of reincarnation as taught from the dharma scripture. I would be happy to be welcomed again to the temple to gain more knowledge and experience noble and inspiring sermons. References Bates, T. G. (2011). The Reagan rhetoric: History and memory in 1980s America. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. Boustan, R. S., Jassen, A. P., & Roetzel, C. J. (2010). Violence, scripture, and textual practice in early Judaism and Christianity. Leiden: Brill. Cooke, T., National Geographic Society (U.S.), National Geographic Society (U.S.)., & Brown Reference Group. (2011). National Geographic concise history of world religions: An illustrated time line. Washington, D.C: National Geographic. Fernández, O. M., & Paravisini-Gebert, L. (2011). Creole religions of the Caribbean: An introduction from Vodou and Santería to Obeah and Espiritismo. New York: New York University Press. Flores-Peña, Y., & Evanchuk, R. J. (2011). Santería garments and altars: Speaking without a voice. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. Grotius, H., Clarke, J., & Antognazza, M. R. (2012). The truth of the Christian religion. Indianapolis [Ind.: Liberty Fund. In Miller, A. (2014). Buddha's daughters: Teachings from women who are shaping Buddhism in the West. O'Neal, M., Jones, J. S., Schlager, N., & Weisblatt, J. (2007). World religions. Detroit: UXL/Thomson Gale. Oxtoby, W. G., & Hussain, A. (2011). World religions. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press. Piyadassi, G., Perera, L., Wijetunga, R., & World Buddhist Foundation. (2005). Buddhism in the West. London: World Buddhist Foundation. Raphael, M. L. (2011). The synagogue in America: A short history. New York: New York University Press. Schuman, S. (2010). Seeing the light: Religious colleges in twenty-first-century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Vander, M. M. (2010). Understanding how evangelical churches assimilate people in recovery into the general life of the church. St. Paul, Minnesota: Bethel Seminary.


This professional portfolio showcases my professional skills as a baccalaureate nurse. I have had extensive service in all aspects of nursing, including community and population health, applied leadership, quality and safety as well as advanced evidence – based practice. These aspects are well covered in the document. The portfolio gives a comprehensive image of who I am, what I have expertise in, and my professional beliefs in regards to the nursing profession.

Executive Summary

Nurturing, and caring for others have always been part of my personal character, since I was young. It was then no surprise to those who know me well that I automatically chose nursing as my lifelong profession, to take my passion to another level, and at the same time, have a far – greater reach and impact on the health profession, and the community in general. My belief that quality healthcare is an undeniable right of every person, and that this care should be of the highest standards possible, have been my guiding principles.

I have therefore taken great effort and paid every attention to ensure that I am a highly qualified baccalaureate nurse, who understands that in today’s world, the roles and opportunities available to nurses are changing dramatically. Nurses are increasingly finding themselves working in places other than the conventional hospital. Community centers, clinics and health centers, as well as outpatient centers are taking over many of the duties that were previously only associated with hospitals (Amos, n.d.). 

I have had extensive hands on training and professional education in community health, research methods. I have also experienced the important role of leadership in delivering care, especially when in a group of professionals who may need direction and guidance on how to achieve particular aims. These aspects are the cornerstone of nursing that give it so much force as an integral part of healthcare provision across the US and the world. I attach specific importance to research, as a means of learning and increasing knowledge in the field of nursing. Nursing exists in communities, and having excellent skills in community health, as I do, is instrumental in having a successful nursing career. 

As the portfolio will show, my superior academic achievements at Western Governors University are a solid foundation for my professional expertise. But this is not all. I have undertaken various research projects on relevant and serious issues in nursing. Additionally, the portfolio will show that I have tried and tested skills in professionally dealing with patients, and arriving at accurate nursing diagnosis, while also supplying the needed interventions to these diagnoses. These skills will definitely be a valuable asset in my nursing practice. 

Quite often, learning provides certain special challenges that are vital in the learning process. I had challenges in using patient care technologies. I was not used to their operations, and had a tough time mastering them. The issue about healthcare was challenging, in the way there were very many different parties and interests involved. By keenly observing and studying these challenges, and thereafter putting all I had learnt to practice, I was able to fully comprehend them, and end up being a far better nurse that I would have been had these challenges not been present.

The ability to apply socio – cultural factors in healthcare in diverse communities is key. In my coursework, I acquired knowledge and skills necessary to ensure care was patient – centered. From the coursework, I appreciate the special needs that populations across different cultural backgrounds, and age groups have in terms of how they expect to be treated as they receive care. At the same time, I am now able to apply my skills in using leadership concepts. These skills are the key to creating an enabling environment in which healing can then take place without impediment. My training as a baccalaureate has been instrumental in helping me harness he powers of applied leadership in different circumstances, all with the stated aim of bettering the quality of care given to patients.  

In carrying out research, it is important to treat data confidentially, and additionally, to protect participants in research. Confidentiality of information gathered from participants builds their trust, encourages them to be honest, and therefore adds to the credibility of the information (Taylor, 2006). Patient care technologies and communication tools, as well as monitoring tools such as telemetric tools are also crucial ingredients in provision of healthcare. Having covered these areas comprehensively in my coursework. As such, I am now fully competent in using these technologies to communicate effectively, mitigate errors, and help in making decisions on healthcare. 

There are many different players in the healthcare industry. These include insurance companies, state governments, the federal governments, and county authorities. When added to the hospital management, these may make for a trying time for anyone con conversant with how healthcare is organized and financed.  Other organizations such as the military and veterans associations are also important stakeholders in healthcare. Nursing is as much about caring for patients, as about effective communication. Effective conflict resolution mechanisms and collaboration are important in fostering environments in which the quality and safety of care are prioritized. 

Protective and predictive factors that determine and affect health status of individuals, families, and communities are covered extensively in the coursework, in a way that gives me added capability to correctly and adequately consider these in providing care to patients. This information is important in arriving at accurate community diagnoses, and the accompanying intervention plans to address them. 

The above outcomes are all designed to ultimately improve care given to patients, improve professionalism in nursing, and foster environments at the care giving institution that are well – tuned to improve patients’ welfare. All these are with that I, as the nurse, is ultimately responsible for my decisions and actions towards the patient. This involves owning the whole process, and applying leadership in carrying out tasks either alone or as part of a team.

In an effort to be more knowledgeable about the care given to patients, I have undertaken research to turn up more information and give more knowledge to myself and my colleagues as to promote better healthcare. I have therefore sought empirical answers to issues in the manner a scientist would have done. I have also set out to find out the reasons behind patients’ issues, by examining information, and deducing clues, much like what a detective would do. Management of the healing environment is a broad role, and involves many different parties. I can now appreciate the unique role the nurse plays in this intricate mix, by planning, directing, and executing healthcare options for patients. 

From the time of enrollment into this course, my perspective regarding the nursing profession, and my role in it has gradually changed, with the knowledge that I have acquired. I now understand that nursing is not just about caring for the patient, injecting them and so forth. It is much more involving and complex. 

A nurse is a researcher, a scientist, and a manager, all rolled into one. Additionally, a nurse is responsible for arriving at reliable nursing diagnoses about different types of issues facing patients, and additionally, prescribing comprehensive interventions to solve these issues. I now realize that as a nurse, I am more involved in the health plans of patients and the community in general. 

Also Read: Buy Nursing Assignment Online

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Reference Questionnaire

Quality and Safety

Quality and safety are key elements in the provision of healthcare. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) certificate is a key step in helping nurses in the execution of duties. The IHI certification helps in emphasizing the need for patient safety and professionalism. To attain the IHI certificate, I have had to undergo more learning processes, resulting in better conceptualization of the importance of these elements to the nursing professionalism, and the responsibility that nurses to their patients, the colleagues they work with, their profession, and to the community that they work in. (IHI, 2016)

Evidence – Based Practice

In the duration of my course, I have done various studies. I have carried out a research project on the relationship between type of indwelling catheter used, and the incidence of CAUTIs in elderly patients, which found that these patients were more likely to contract CAUTIs when they used latex (uncoated) catheters. I also studied the issue of obesity in children in Stafford County, Virginia, and discussed the interventions that should be used to arrest the problem. I have additionally studied the change in end of shift directive, and what it portends for the nursing profession, as well as practice of nursing in diversity - cultural, economic, among others. 

The information gathered from the above studies has been important in enriching my experience and knowledge in nursing. I have been able to apply this information in different situations, with the solid foundation laid by the coursework gone through at WGU. 

In order to do this, it has been important to establish the relevance of the information and its adaptability to the situations presented in the typical day in a nurse’s life, as well as the believability of such information, based on what the analysis of such information was able to deduce. 

After the course, I am now able to appreciate the distinct differences between quality improvement and research. While quality improvement is an ongoing process, with instant results, research involves analyzing data and making recommendations, the results of which may not always be appropriate in their entirety to the issue at hand. Additionally, while research is concerned with collecting data and consequently analyzing it to draw conclusions for use in the issue being researched, quality improvement deals with identifying problems with a process or a system, and seeking ways of solving it. (Moses, n.d.)

Primary or field research is the collection of new data, accompanied by analysis and conclusion based on those findings. Type of research is carried out to offer additional insight into an issue that may have been researched on. Secondary data involves the review of already existing data, and a meta-analysis of the same so as also reach conclusions on a health issue. While primary research is used to gather information that may not have been available, for instance the research on obesity in Stafford County, and thereafter coming up with direct interventions to sort out the issue, secondary research, more akin to a synthesis of information, is done to increase knowledge in a particular clinical field, where the information was already existing. 

Thorough knowledge in research and applications has ensured that I am constantly learning new things, and sharpening my skills all the time. This has ensured that I have become an outstanding researcher, and ultimately, nurse, who proactively seeks answers to relevant issues in nursing and healthcare that may not be clearly defined, preventing them from being addressed efficiently. 

Applied Leadership

The workplace is a cocktail of divergent views, biases, characters, values, and other personal characteristics. When a collaborative atmosphere is not fostered in such a diverse team, this means here is no cohesion, and the team is inefficient. Worse still, this translates to low quality of healthcare provision, and lengthy stays in hospitals be patients. The ultimate to the health sector is big, as it leads to loss of credibility. 

Collaboration is not only important to nursing. Today’s working environment means that nurses have to cooperate with other professionals to deliver quality healthcare to patients. Without effective leadership and collaboration, such cooperation is problematic, and adversely affects the deliverables that nurses strive to achieve. The importance of education during the course cannot be overemphasized, as it is crucial in acquiring the necessary skills to promote collaboration, and therefore be more successful in leadership. 

My stated mission statement is an honest view of what I need to do to regard myself as one of the best, by excelling in the profession. To do this, there are some core areas that I have given priority to, as I believe they are key to helping grow my career and level of expertise in the field. They include utilization of evidence based practice, with a view of using my research skills to identify, analyses and propose credible interventions to situations. Applied leadership, and fostering collaboration to ensure that the patient enjoys the best type of service possible is also a core aim. 

As a nurse living in a community, I also appreciate the importance of having a community – oriented mission, of realizing that the bottom-line, the ultimate aim of all this is to ensure that the community I practice in ends up being healthier and more capable of handling health issues as time goes on, with my significant input. 

Community and Population Health

I have been able to learn important issues in community and population health, as a result of the community health task undertaken in the course of study. I am now well versed with the principle that community nurses should strive to promote prevention over treatment. This is an important element that ensures that the community enjoys higher standards of living by observing basic hygiene, sanitation, proper nutrition, among others. Issues such as risky sexual behavior and failure to attend medical examination when in doubt about health status are risk factors that I, as a community nurse, believe need to be minimized in an effort to promote health and avert avoidable treatment and loss of life or finances that could have been channeled elsewhere. 

 This information was instrumental in my interventions in the community work I undertook. It was founded on prevention, and further, doing things that while alleviating the issue diagnosed, would deter its return. For instance, obesity can be deterred, and be eliminated, by practicing proper nutrition, and reasonable exercise. At the same time, serious ailments associated with obesity such as coronary ailments, some types of cancers, and diabetes are also kept at bay.

In the course of my work in the community, I was able to pick up some knowledge that would have been hard to come by, or fully comprehend in class. The practicability of intervention plans is one such area. Theoretically, these plans may be made to look easy and straight forward. But after working with real patients who were now tasked with implementing these plans to the letter, and the fear of what failure would mean, the stakes were raised very high. It forced a reassessment of my intervention ideas, in an effort to come up with plans that would achieve their aims, before all else. 

As a nurse, it is crucial to have thorough information about the impact genetics has on human health. It is also important to further have information on the current available methods of gene – based research, manipulation and engineering, dedicated to helping treat some of the most brutal conditions facing us today, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The controversy surrounding the subject notwithstanding, such information is crucial. The amount of what is known is still scant, but I was able to establish that major advances are being made towards making these technologies a reality, and able to help many suffering people. 

Attaining this certificate has therefore equipped me with the necessary skills that I would need when faced with such scenarios in my professional nurse career. I will be able to competently field questions that may be asked by patients, and provide additional, valuable information as well.  


Amos, L. K. (n.d.). Baccalaureate Nursing Programs. Retrieved from AACN :

IHI. (2016). More Medical and Nursing Schools to Require IHI Open School Basic Certificate. Retrieved from IHI:

Moses, J. (n.d.). What’s the Difference Between Research and QI? Retrieved from IHI:

Taylor, B. J. (2006). Research in Nursing and Health Care: Evidence for Practice. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Root Cause Analysis and Failure Improvement Plan

The problem that occurred in this case scenario is the death of Mr. B, a patient who arrived in the hospital complaining of severe pain in the hip region and the left leg secondary to a fall. The death of the patient occurred following a series of intervention that took place prior to his transfer for advanced care in the tertiary facility. The patient sustained brain death during the intervention and hip reduction procedure. There are a series of event that occurred during the entire process that could have led to the brain death of Mr. B. First, a complete history of Mr. B was not taken prior to commencing the procedure of hip reduction. The history was important in understanding the treatment that the patient was on the probable effects that the drugs might have on the new drugs to be administered. The physician instructed the administration of diazepam and then hydromorphone without considering the possible drug interaction between the two sedative drugs and the opioid-oxycodone.

During the procedure of reduction, the patient was not put on any oxygen supplementation or ECG monitor. According to the conscious sedation policy of the hospital, every patient must be put on continuous blood pressure monitors, ECG and pulse oximeter throughout the procedure until the patient is declared stable. To some extent the policy was ignored because from the time the reduction procedure began up to the time the Ed team left for the respiratory distress patient, Mr. B was not on any monitor except the automatic blood pressure monitor and pulse oximeter. The patient was left under the watch of his son who had no medical background or any awareness of the changes in the vital signs. When the Mr. B’s son reported about the alarm ringing, the LPN noted the reduction of the oxygen saturation to 85% and instead of intervening; the LPN reset the alarm and did not report to the RN or the physician. The response team was only alerted after the blood pressure had seriously fallen and the oxygen saturation was far below normal.

Buy Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership Task 2

It can therefore be concluded that the series of events that took place prior to the transfer of Mr. B lead to his death. The use of large doses of sedative drugs, the lack of vital signs monitoring and poor intervention plans all contributed to the death of the patient. The brain death could have occurred due to excessive sedation or limited oxygen supply secondary to reduced blood pressure. The ventricular fibrillation occurred to the rapid heartbeats and tachycardia that occurred due to the compensatory response by the head to the seriously reduced blood pressure. The fact that the ED department only had one RN and one physician could also have contributed to the events that led to the death of the patient.

Process Improvement Plan

The improvement plan should begin with the change theory that can be employed in this situation which is the Lewin’s Change Management Theory. The theory tries to explain the human behaviors that relate to change and change resistance patterns (Sutherland, 2013). There are three stages in this model. Unfreezing, change and refreeze requires previous practices to be forgotten and redirected. The unfreezing stage of the theory enables organizations to understand the difficulties that relate to the problem identified and the strategies to be developed to achieve the process of change.  The first step in the model is to Unfreeze by debriefing the situation with all the staff to find out what they felt went wrong. Did they follow policies, did they take shortcuts etc. The second step is to change by increasing the number of staff in the emergency department from one RN to three or more and an additional physician and more LPNs. The staff should all obtain training on advanced trauma and cardiac life support and the conscious sedation module. Strict adherence to the hospital polices should be ensured to prevent the re-occurrence of the case where the conscious sedation policy was ignored during the procedure of hip reduction of Mr. B. By increasing the number of the RNs in the setting, the possibilities of having an inadequate history as in the scenario will be avoided and the patients will be monitored more closely as well as necessary interventions conducted in due cause.

The LPNs working in the setting should be more empowered and accorded necessary communication skills that enable them to report any problems promptly before anything worse happens.  The third and final step is to Refreeze and that would involve running a mock code or emergent situation to ensure the staff have let go of the old way of thinking and ensure they have adapted to the new policies. This would be followed with periodic in-services for re-education and refreshing of the policy. 

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

The entire emergency department team including the nurses, doctors, laboratory technicians and other members will be involved in the FMEA. The steps that will be involved in the FMEA will include the identification of the probability of an event occurring, being aware of the possible severity of the event, detection, dormancy, indication and finally the risk level (Neal, 2013). Severity is the consequences of the failure mode set towards the improvement plan. To understand the consequences, an analysis can be conducted to identify any previous failures and the consequences. Detection involve the creation of awareness of the possibility of failure occurring and the steps to be undertaken. The occurrence step is applied when failure has occurred and the improvement plan is being implemented.

The professional nurse plays a very significant role as a leader in quality care promotion and influencing the activities of quality improvement (Needleman, 2009). The nurses contribute directly to quality improvement by communicating the area of the hospital that needs changes so as to achieve the desired quality. The nurses are more involved with the patients and they understand the conditions of the patient more and therefore they are aware of the level of adequacy of supplies and the requirements needed by the patients. The nurses are also in constant contact with the patient relatives who form the base of external stakeholders who possess a lot of information of the areas of the hospital that need change.


Neal, R. (2013). Modes of Failure Analysis Summary for the Nerva B-2 Reactor. Washington DC: Wiley Series.

Needleman, J. (2009). The Role Of Nurses In Improving Hospital Quality And Efficiency: Real-World Results. Health Affairs, 28(4), 625-644.

Sutherland, K. (2013). Applying Lewin’s Change Management Theory to the Implementation of Bar-Coded Medication Administration. Canadian Jounal of Nursing Informatics, 50-62.


Albert Bandura, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, is renowned for his social learning theory he developed when pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Bandura was largely interested in conducting research on learning and behavior change. He believed “aggression reinforced by role models or family members was the most prominent source of behavior modeling”. His work on social learning theory was published in 1976 and became one of the most utilized resources in psychological research on behavior and change. Individual behaviors are nurtured and continuously modeled as they mature up (Bandura, 1976). The young learn form the adults, and so according to Bandura, behaviors of adults in the presence of children have significant impact on the children. The study of behavioral modeling became a focal point in Bandura’s research and lab experiments (Bandura, 1976). This paper, however, seeks to examine the relevance of this theory both in the context of adult learning, also referred to as andragogy and child learning known as pedagogy.

Key Words: Andragogy (Adult learning); Pedagogy (Child learning)


Bandura`s argument was that young people should not be exposed to crude behaviors, as these will possibly reflect in their behavioral conducts in their adult ages. To elaborate on this, he pointed at an instance where children could utilize the behavior tactics they observed from parents in relating with other individuals in society (Bandura, 1976).If the parents are aggressive, the child is likely to be aggressive in behavior. This also suggested that adults act as role models to the children, and when the children have violent role models, they  would tend to emulate the violence in their role models, what Bandura referred to as “behavior modeling” (Bandura, 1976). This paper discusses extensively the theoretical views of Bandura with regard to learning and behavior change.

Bandura`s Experiment and Theoretical Perspective

To Bandura, aggression in behavior explained three major aspects of learning. Firstly, it explained under what circumstances the aggressive behavior patterns developed. Secondly, what proved the aggressive behavior, and thirdly, “what determined if people were going to continue resorting to an aggressive behavior pattern in future” (Bandura, 1976). He investigated into these aspects through his famous “Bobo doll experiment”. In the experiment, he used sample of children “to witness a model aggressively attacking a plastic clown called Bobo doll” (Bandura, 1973). 

The children were put to watch a video clip showing violence, where by a model was hitting repeatedly and violently on the Bolo doll. They were then taken to another room full of attractive toys. The children appeared frustrated by the change, and they did not touch the toys. They were moved to another room with toys similar to those they witnessed in the Bobo doll video, and they got motivated again. Their behaviors under different conditions were then evaluated and analyzed. Bandura concluded that children are mostly influenced by aggressive behaviors (Bandura, 1973). Together with other researchers who undertook the experiment, they found out “about 88% of children imitated the aggressive behavior they observed in Bobo doll experiment” (Collins, 1991).

From the experiment, Bandura asserted imitation or modeling were fundamental aspects of learning. The researches found that in the observational learning process, “learning occurred when individuals observed and imitated other people`s behaviors” (Collins, 1991). In his analyses, Bandura further outlined four constituent processes subjective to the observers` behavior after their exposure to models, “attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation were the four components” (Bandura, 1977).

The first constituent was attention. People cannot learn only through observation, but they also have to perceive and pay attention to the important aspects of the behavior modeled (Bandura, 1977).For example, children had to attend to the Bolo doll video showing aggressive behaviors before they emulated the model behaviors later. After attention, retention is the next possible process of learning. 

Bandura explains “in order to reproduce modeled behavior, individuals must code the information into a long term memory”. By retaining the information for a long time, it would be easier to retrieve and hard to forget (Bandura, 1977). Merriam, and Caffarella (2001), notes “memory is a significant cognitive process which enables observers to code and retrieve information”. The children became aggressive as a result of having modeled the aggressive behavior in Bobo doll video and stored it in their memories. The next stage in observational learning is motor reproduction, in which case, “the observer has to be capable of reproducing the model`s behavior”. The individual must also learn and acquire the physical abilities of the behavior modeled (Bandura, 1977).The last stage in this learning process is the motivation phase. Learners would need reinforcement and a positive indication which will motivate them to carry on (Bandura, 1977).

Bandura also investigated into the effects of the media violence on children exposed to the media i.e. television (Bandura, 1970). In his “social learning theory”, he posited that “media characters who serve as models for aggressive behavior may be attended to by viewers and depending upon whether the behaviors are rewarded or punished, would either inhibit or encourage imitation of the behaviors” (Bandura, 1970)

According to Bandera’s theory of social learning, children are more vulnerable to violent media programs which may contribute significantly in cultivating their behaviors as they grow into the adulthood age bracket (Bandura, 1970). This theory has, however, not escaped the trap of criticisms. For instance, Gauntlet in 1995 asserted that in Bandera’s experiment on the effects of aggressive media programs on children, there could have been a possibility that the Children behaved aggressively after they were exposed to violent programs, not really because the programs had an impact on them, but rather, because they wanted to please the experimenter. This could also imply the children were only keen on following the “video instructions”, but not as “inducement to aggression” (Brookfield, 1986).

Rowell Huesmann, a communication expert and Professor at the University of Michigan, notes that “exposure to media violence can cause children to behave aggressively and may affect them in their adulthood later in life” (Collins, 1991). However, Jonathan Freedman, Psychological scientist from Toronto University, is not in agreement with Huesmann. To Jonathan, “there are no scientific evidence which show that watching violent or aggressive media programs can yield into traits of violence in the people watching them later-on in their lives” (Collins, 1991 & Bandura, 1973).

Literature Review

Investigation into the learning process has resulted in some of the most paramount scholastic research that has been conducted in different fields of study. One of the commonly cited researches was that of Albert Bandura back in the 1970s.  Bandura investigated the effects of learning on individuals exposed to different sources of knowledge (Bandura, 1973).  In his “social learning theory,” Bandura posited that “individuals can learn or borrow knowledge and ideas from each other by mere observations, imitations and modeling”.

For instance, characters who serve as models for aggressive behavior may be attended to by viewers and, depending upon whether the behaviors are rewarded or punished, would either inhibit or encourage imitation of the behaviors (Bandura, 1973).

According to Bandera’s theory of social learning, children are more vulnerable to new and influential ideas which may contribute significantly in cultivating their behaviors as they grow into the adulthood age bracket (Bandura, 1973).

Theories of adult learning are characterized by common basic concepts acting as variables and providing the basis on which arguments have been built. Experience and behavioral change are perhaps the most utilized variables in this research. Merriam and Caffarella (1999) observed that commencing the 1950s, “the very basic definitions of learning were established around ideas of change and behavior”.  According to these researchers, this initial conception triggered the emergence of new ideologies and theoretical frameworks. The question of whether performance was based on learning or learning had no impact on shaping human behaviors remained a question of debate (Bandura, 1973).

Subsequent to the complexity that was already arising in understanding the learning process, Jean Piaget proposed cognitive development stages. Piaget contended there were “four invariant phases of cognitive development in relation to age”.  “Formal operations” was his final stage in cognitive development, a stage between the age of twelve and fifteen. The argument supporting this stage was that “normal children reached the final development stage of development between the age of twelve and fifteen” (Bandura, 1973). This phase was later renamed “the problem solving stage” by Brookfield (1986). Arlin posited that formal thought was not a one-stage process as Piaget believed, but a stage comprised of two other distinctive stages (Bandura, 1973).  Arlin`s hypothesis, however, generated more debate, escalating into more questions than answers, “opening doors to understanding of the adult learning” process, and drawing the attentions of many intellectual thinkers. 

Knowles’s work paved way for the study and research on adult learning which was to become an exceptional field of study for many scholars from different fields. Knowles began by giving his precise definition of what he thought about adult learning. According to him, “adult learning was the art and science of helping adults to learn” (Knowles, 1968). He went ahead to compare and contrast between adult learning and child learning. Child learning, as he defined it, “was the art and science of helping children to learn” (Knowles, 1968). Knowles’s studies “were based on the assumptions that there existed substantial identifiable differences between adult learners and learners below the age of eighteen years” (Merriam and Caffarella, 1999).To Knowles, adult learning was a more self directing process facilitated by experience, internal motivations and high level of the anxiety to apply what has been learnt. Adult learners were mostly attracted to development oriented tasks (Merriam and Caffarella, 1999).

Some other researchers, the caliber of Starbuck and Hedberg (2003), suggested the art and science of learning was a process influenced by both situational and environmental factors. These group of researchers held that environmental and situational circumstances could either promote or make learning impossible to certain individuals. They added some circumstances were established by “the structure of organizations, time constraints and either negative or positive environmental conditions” (Brookfield, 1986).

Arguing on the basis of “Multiple Intelligences”, Howard Gardner presents a group of “theorists who discarded the idea of one type of intelligence measured by modern psychometric instruments” (Brookfield, 1986).Gardner believed not only one type of intelligence exists, but seven. Constituting his list are “linguistic intelligence, logical arithmetic intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence” (Bandura 1973 & Brookfield, 1986). He argues further both the linguistic and the logical arithmetic intelligence are measured by the Intelligence Quotient test shorted as IQ test. Naturalist intelligence became Gardner`s eighth intelligence factor which he described as “the ability to recognize classify the living species, flora and fauna” (Brookfield, 1986).

With regard to internalization of new information, Collins (1991) discussed three basic categories of theorists. First, the dualistic thinkers, those who believe in absolute truth. They spend their time knowing only one truth for every aspect, and have difficulty in internalizing the truths found in the “shades of grey”, that is, the truths that do not come in black and white as clear cut. The second category was that of multiplistic thinkers, those who are programmed to learn by analyzing multiple truths to find one right answer. They differed from the former group since they believed that there could be several solutions, but only one is applicable. Then the dualistic thinkers who tended to believe there was only one solution. The final category was the relativists` thinkers. This group of thinkers believed the truth or solution to a problem was relative and situational. They were more capable of dealing with situations that are neither presented in black or white (Bandura, et al, 1973).


Many of the research conducted by scholars significantly borrowed from Bandura`s experiment and his social learning theory. In spite of the criticisms he faced, for instance, the criticism from Gauntlet, his experiment to a greater extent proved that individuals` behaviors could be modeled, and observation was practical way of modeling behaviors of people.

 In 1995, Gauntlet argued that in Bandera’s experiment on the effects of aggressive models on children, there was a possibility that the Children behaved aggressively after they were exposed to violent programs, not because the model aggressive behaviors had impact on them, but rather because they wanted to please the experimenter (Brookfield, 1986). 

Jonathan Freedman, Psychological scientist from Toronto University, also rejected Bandura`s social learning theory on the ground that “there were no scientific evidence which showed that observing aggressive models could yield into traits of violence in the people watching them later-on in their lives” (Collins, 1991 & Bandura, 1973).There may be a feeling that Jonathan did not acknowledge the Bobo doll experiment as a substantial scientific prove ,even though many other scientists found it substantial enough to qualify Bandura`s theory. For instance, Rowell Huesmann, a communication expert and Professor at the University of Michigan, notes that “exposure to media violence could cause children to behave aggressively and could affect them in their adulthood later in life” (Collins, 1991).

Additionally, Knowles, the founding father of androgogy, posited, learning was a more self directing process facilitated by experience, internal motivations and high level of anxiety to apply what has been learnt (Knowles, 1968) .These sentiments reflected much on the constituent of observational learning discussed by Bandura. 

In the case of children, aggressive models proved to be the most influential in shaping up their behaviors and in their learning experiences. To adults, experience acquired at childhood age determined their adulthood behaviors, at least as per the arguments of Bandura.


Bandura was largely interested in conducting research on learning and behavior change. He had a strong presumption that “aggression reinforced by role models or family members was the most prominent source of behavior modeling”. His work on social learning theory published in 1976 has been the most utilized resource in psychological research on behavior and change. Bandura believed that Individual behaviors are nurtured and continuously modeled as they grow up (Bandura, 1976). Behaviors of adults in the presence of children have significant impacts on them. Adults learning skills and experiences are basically drawn from their childhood models.

Annotated Bibliography

Bandura, Albert. Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice- Hall, 1973.43-60.

Albert Bandura is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. He is  renowned for his social learning theory he developed when pursuing his Ph.D. at 

the University of Iowa In his theory, he argued “individuals can learn from one another through  Observation, imitation, and modeling”.Bandura was a theorist who Strongly believed in behavior change, “modeling and reciprocal determinism”. In  addition to his theory on social learning, Bandura has published works on “social  foundation of Knowledge and action, Self efficacy, principles of behavior modification” among others.

Bandura, A. “Social Foundations of Thought and Action”. Englewood  Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 1986

Bandura, A. (1997). “Self-efficacy: The exercise of control”. New York: W.H.  Freeman

Bandura, A. (1969). “Principles of Behavior Modification”. New York: Holt,  Rinehart & Winston.

Brookfield, S. “Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning”. Jossey-Bass. San  Francisco.1986.

In this work, Brookfield Stephen investigates into the factors that facilitate learning in adulthood stages.

Collins, M. “Self-directed learning and the emancipatory practice of adult education, 

Re-thinking the role of the adult educator”. “Proceedings of the 29th Annual Adult  Education Research Conference”. Calgary University. 1991.

Collins, M is a senior researcher at the University of Calgary In this report, Collins compiled research findings of the 29th Annual adult 

Conference. The emphasis in the report was that adult learning was a process  Characterized by both theory and practice. 

Knowles, M. “The Modern Practice of Adult Education”: “Andragogy versus pedagogy”. 

Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall- Cambridge.1984. Malcolm Knowles was an Educational researcher at the State University, North  Carolina. He is accredited as the finding father of adrogogy, “the art and science  of adult education”. In this work, Knowles has discussed elaborately on the  distinctive factors influencing adult learning. Knowles worked for over  30 years in adult education and clinical psychology fields. He studies leaning  Process as an art and science.

Merriam, S. B. & Caffarella, R.S. “Learning in adulthood”: A comprehensive guide.  San Francisco, CA. Jossey- Bass Inc. 1999.

Merriam and Caffarella are Educational researchers whose works have greatly  Contributed in the study of adult learning. In addition to their work titled “Learning  in adulthood published in 1999, they have also conducted a research on 

“Androgogy and self-directed learning”, investigating into “the pillars of adult  Learning theory” in 2001.


Bandura, Albert. Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice- Hall, 1973.43-60.

Brookfield, S. “Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning”. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.1986.

Collins, M. “Self-directed learning and the emancipatory practice of adult education,

Re-thinking the role of the adult educator”. “Proceedings of the 29th Annual Adult Education Research Conference”. Calgary University. 1991.

Knowles, M. “The Modern Practice of Adult Education”: “Andragogy versus pedagogy”. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall- Cambridge.1984.

Merriam, S. B. & Caffarella, R.S. “Learning in adulthood”: A comprehensive guide. San Francisco, CA. Jossey- Bass Inc. 1999.

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