How Does Self-Efficacy Contribute To Academic Development and Goal Mastery

HowDoes Self-Efficacy Contribute To Academic Development and GoalMastery

Self-efficacycan be defined as a type of personal expectation concerning one’scapacity to achieve some task. According to Zimmerman (2000),self-efficacy has been perceived as a predictor as part of students’motivation and learning. Self-efficacy is seen to differpsychometrically and conceptually from motivational constructs likeself-concept, outcome expectations, or locus of control. According toMayer (2010), self-efficacy is not like self-concept. Self-concept isa common view of one’s self across domains on the other hand,self-concept comprises of many dimensions (Mayer 1). One of thedimensions of self-concept is confidence. Self-efficacy is importantto a student because it may play a significant role in a student’sacademic achievement. Schunk (1991) points out that there is evidencethat self-efficacy can predict academic achievement. Self-efficacy isperceived to have a role in academic motivation. Self-efficacybeliefs have shown convergent validity in influencing key indices ofacademic motivation such as choice of activities, persistence,emotional reactions, and level of effort (Schunk 5). Evidence showsthat self-efficacious learners participate more readily, persistlonger, work harder, and have fewer adverse emotional reactions, whenthey encounter challenges. The aim of this assignment is to discusshow self-efficacy can contribute to academic development and goalmastery.

Self-efficacyis theorized to influence choice of activities, persistence, andeffort expended. Students that hold low self-efficacy for learningmay keep away from tasks, while those that judge themselvesefficacious are likely to engage or participate more in tasks (Schunk6). When facing problems, self-efficacious students expend greatereffort and persist longer compared to learners that doubt theircapabilities. Students get information concerning their self-efficacyin a certain domain from their physiological indexes, kinds of socialpersuasion, performances, and observation of models. Information thatis obtained from these sources does not influence efficacyinvoluntarily however, it is cognitively appraised. In theassessment of self-efficacy, learners consider factors likeperceived, task difficulty, expended effort, teacher assistance,failures, and patterns of successes. The perception that personalexpectations can influence behavior is not unique to the theory ofself-efficacy. Self-efficacy can be considered similar to constructssuch as perceived competence, success expectations, andself-confidence. Most theories stress on outcome expectations.Individuals differ as to whether they believe that outcomes happenindependently depending on how they behave or outcomes are contingenton their behavior. Positive outcome expectations are crucial but maynot decode into behavior. Learners that believe that the tutor willpraise them because of scoring high on a certain test may not studymuch in case they doubt their capabilities for performing well thisis seen as low self-efficacy. According to expectancy-value theories,behavior can be seen as a joint function of beliefs concerningoutcomes of actions and how the outcomes are valued. Individuals arelikely to act in case they believe an action would produce positiveoutcomes and when they value the outcomes. Students that value highgrades and believe that diligent studying can produce them may nothave the motivation to study in case they doubt their capabilities ofstudying effectively. Self-efficacy theory differs from other viewsin its prominence on learners’ beliefs on their capabilities toemploy skills and knowledge effectively that may help them inattaining outcomes.

Accordingto Peggy et al, for the past two decades, researchers have beeninterested in understanding the motivation of students and findingways of predicting and enhancing academic performance. Researchershave indicated that motivation is associated with students’initiation of the task, effort that they expend on the task, andtheir perseverance in completing the task (Peggy et al 4). As aresult, motivation of students has been indicated to affect theiractions and academic attainment. In their attempt to understand themotivation of middle school students and their achievement, Peggy etal conducted a study based on two social cognitive motivationtheories self-efficacy and goal orientation. The study indicatedthat there is a strong positive association between self-efficacy ofstudents and mastery and performance-approach goals (Peggy et al 3).

Goalorientation and mastery is perceived as an important ingredienttowards performance of students. There are three kinds of goalorientations. One of them is a mastery goal this is where studentsfocus on a mastery of a certain task and have the desire of acquiringnew skills. The second type is a performance-approach goal (Peggy etal 4). Performance-approach goal is where learners’ principalconcern is how competent they appear in front of others, emphasizingon receiving favorable judgments of capacity from others. The thirdkind of goal orientation is performance-avoidance goal.Performance-avoidance goal is where learners attempt to avoidunfavorable judgments of capabilities and looking incompetent and maystay away from challenging tasks. Performance-avoidance and masterygoal orientations have received the consensus of researchers.Researchers have steadily found that learners that adopt masterygoals are likely to have higher self-efficacy, higher achievement,and positive patterns of learning. On the other hand, learners thathave performance-avoidance goals are likely to have lowerself-efficacy and have less challenge-seeking conducts and intrinsicvalue for learning.

Learnersusually develop goals for learning through the examination and theircomprehension concerning themselves, tasks, and their expectations ofsuccess. Students having high self-efficacy usually take on morechallenging tasks, put in more effort, persist in the face ofdifficulty, and utilize strategies in making learning meaningful(Bandura 124). The moment students believe in themselves, they mayalso be more likely to create enabling goals, which when executed canfacilitate the attainment of the task, while students havingsabotaging beliefs concerning their capabilities may avoid thelearning task and opportunities of seeking help. Therefore,understanding beliefs of students concerning their capabilities canassist educators understand better how goals are adopted andmaintained, where motivation of students comes from, and how toassist learners sustain the motivation that they gradually develop.Most researchers have suggested that learners’ self-efficacy is agood predictor of academic motivation and achievement.

Researchershave examined the connection amid self-efficacy and performance goalsin the prediction of learning and achievement. They suggest thatself-efficacy plays a moderating role amid performance goals andpatterns of learning. Researchers also indicate that learners havingperformance goals are usually more vulnerable to maladaptive patternsof learning when they also have low self-efficacy compared tolearners that have high self-efficacy. There is also a suggestionthat students that adopt performance goals may tend to have adaptivepatterns of learning, when accompanied by a high sense ofself-efficacy for learning. Therefore, patterns of learning forstudents that adopt performance goals are considered to be highlydependent on the level of self-efficacy. Researchers have steadilyfound that self-efficacy and goal orientations tend to affect anumber of variables relevant to learners’ achievement andmotivation. According to Goal Setting Theory, goals are an immediatecontroller of human action, guiding the direction, intensity, anddetermination of task related behavior. In offering this direction,intensity, and persistence, performance goals are considered topromote performance on a certain task especially for goals which arespecific and difficult.

Researchershave indicated that there are different individual differencevariables, which influence the process of setting goals. One of thesevariables entails previous performance and ability. The existence ofan association between ability and past performance and self-setgoals is logical since it is unlikely that people that perceive theyare low in task-relevant ability would set difficult performancegoals for themselves. This is because such goals would lead to goalfailure. Alternatively, it is unlikely for people that are extremelyhigh in ability to set very easy goals for themselves. This isbecause such goals would result in valued outcomes like high level oftask performance. Another variable is self-efficacy. Self-efficacyhas emerged as an important component of goal setting. Self-efficacyis not concerned with the skills that an individual has, but thejudgments of what an individual can do depending on the skills thatone possesses. Self-efficacy is partially determined by anindividual’s past performance on a certain or similar task.Self-efficacy is also determined by a number of additionalnon-performance factors such as vicarious learning, persuasion,physiological arousal, and social modeling. Studies have depictedthat past performance and self-efficacy make independentcontributions on a person’s choice of goal level.

Anotherfactor that affects goal setting process includes personalityfactors. Different researchers have proposed that there is asignificant association between personality and various motivationalprocesses, especially the process of goal setting. Recent researchershave indicated that incorporating personality variables into the goalsetting literature allows for a more complete understanding of thegoal-choice determinants. Different personality variables have beenindicated to be potential determinants of personal goals theseinclude need for achievement, locus of control, andconscientiousness. Goal orientation is another critical variablewhen it comes to the goal setting process. Dweck and colleaguesconducted a research with children in an achievement setting. Twobehavioral responses were noted during the research, when childrenwere faced with challenging tasks. These patterns were helplesspattern and mastery-oriented pattern. Children that adopted helplesspattern attempted to avoid challenging tasks and decreased theirperformance level when confronted with a difficult situation. On theother hand, kids that showed mastery-oriented pattern attemptedchallenging tasks and had an increase in effort, when faced withfailure. These children were indicated to have either performanceoriented goals or learning oriented goals. Studies have shown thatindividuals having performance goal orientation chiefly seek to gainfavorable judgments or tend to avoid negative judgments of theircompetence, through their current level of task performance.Individuals having performance goal orientation usually viewchallenging situations as opportunity for an ability judgment ratherthan a learning opportunity. The focus on competence judgments isthought to develop a vulnerability to a helpless pattern ofcognitions and behavior. Besides, individuals having strongperformance goal orientation display a tendency of avoidingchallenging situations. These individuals tend to select easier tasksthat would allow them to achieve success and avoid judgments ofincompetence. Such individuals also tend to avoid learningsituations, which may be accompanied by errors and perceptions ofincompetence on the part of others.

Onthe other hand, individuals having learning goal orientation are notconcerned with validating their competence, but are concerned withimproving their understanding of the task at hand. These individualssee challenging situations as an opportunity to learn. Individualsthat display a learning goal orientation are likely to seekchallenging situations regardless of their perceived level of abilityor expectations of success.

Self-efficacyis perceived to have a role in academic motivation. Self-efficacybeliefs have shown convergent validity in influencing key indices ofacademic motivation such as choice of activities, persistence,emotional reactions, and level of effort. Evidence shows thatself-efficacious learners participate more readily, persist longer,work harder, and have fewer adverse emotional reactions, when theyencounter challenges. When it comes to choice of activities,self-efficacious learners undertake difficult and challenging tasksmore readily compared to inefficacious learners. From their researchBandura and Schunk indicated that learners’ mathematicalself-efficacy beliefs were predictive of their choice of their choiceof engaging subtraction problems rather than in a different type oftask the higher the learners’ sense of efficacy, the higher theirchoice of the arithmetic activity. Self-efficacy beliefs arepredictive of two measures of students’ effort these includeexpenditure of energy and rate of performance. Perceivedself-efficacy for learning correlates positively with learners’rate of solution of arithmetic problems. Self-efficacy is positivelyassociated with self-rated mental effort and achievement duringstudents’ learning from text material. On the other hand, when itcomes to the issue of persistence, it has been proposed thatperceived self-efficacy influences learners’ methods of learning aswell as their motivational processes. This is an indication thatself-efficacy has a role in motivating persistence and academicachievement. There is evidence that learners’ performance inacademically threatening situations depends more on efficacy beliefsrather than anxiety arousal. Researchers such as Siegel, Galassi, andWare found out that self-efficacy beliefs are more predictive inperformance in mathematics compared to math anxiety.

Accordingto Mento et al, internal rewards for goal attainment can drivestronger influences on effort and achievement than external rewardssuch as grades or academic performance. Self-efficacy beliefs aredifferent depending on individuals. Self-efficacy beliefs tend tovary under varied circumstances and increase the academicachievements. According to the normative goal theory, self-efficacybeliefs have a moderating effect on the performance goals (Zimmerman84). An essential factor in a human activity is the belief inpersonal efficacy. It has been argued that beliefs influence humanfunctioning by motivational, affective, and decision-makingprocesses. The more a person believes in his or her self-efficacy,the more willing he/she is which in itself helps in making itpossible for a person to be fully accomplished. According to thesocial cognitive theory, self-efficacy is one of the most significantvariables that influence the academic achievement and performance.Research has indicated that individuals may perform poorly on tasksnot because they necessarily lack the ability of succeeding, butbecause they may lack belief on their capabilities. Therefore,self-efficacy is likely to influence academic achievement and masterysince it is the belief in individuals that determine the success thatone is likely to achieve.

Conclusion

Self-efficacyis theorized to influence choice of activities, persistence, andeffort expended. Students that hold low self-efficacy for learningmay keep away from tasks, while those that judge themselvesefficacious are likely to engage or participate more in tasks. Whenfacing problems, self-efficacious students expend greater effort andpersist longer compared to learners that doubt their capabilities.Self-efficacy is important to a student because it may play asignificant role in a student’s academic achievement. According tothe social cognitive theory, self-efficacy is one of the mostsignificant variables that influence the academic achievement andperformance. Research has indicated that individuals may performpoorly on tasks not because they necessarily lack the ability ofsucceeding, but because they may lack belief on their capabilities.Self-efficacy has emerged as an important component of goal setting.Self-efficacy is not concerned with the skills that an individualhas, but the judgments of what an individual can do depending on theskills that one possesses. Self-efficacy is partially determined byan individual’s past performance on a certain or similar task.Self-efficacy is also determined by a number of additionalnon-performance factors such as vicarious learning, persuasion,physiological arousal, and social modeling. Self-efficacy beliefstend to vary under varied circumstances and increase the academicachievements. According to the normative goal theory, self-efficacybeliefs have a moderating effect on the performance goals. Anessential factor in a human activity is the belief in personalefficacy. It has been argued that beliefs influence human functioningby motivational, affective, and decision-making processes. The more aperson believes in his or her self-efficacy, the more willing he/sheis which helps in making it possible for a person to be fullyaccomplished.

WorksCited

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Mayer,R.E. MotivationBased on Self-Efficacy.Retrieved fromhttp://www.education.com/reference/article/motivation-based-self-efficacy/

Pei-HsuanHsieh, Peggy, Cho YoonJung, Min Liu, and Diane L. Schallert.Examiningthe interplay between middle school students’ achievement goals andselfefficacy in a technology-enhanced learning environment.

Schunk,Dale. H. Goalsetting and self-efficacy during self-regulated learning.Educational Psychologist, 25, 71-86.

Zimmerman,J. Barry. Self-Efficacy:An Essential Motive to Learn.New York: Academic Press, 2000. Print.