Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Self-efficacy and learning
The second way self-efficacy affects children's behavior and learning is through goals. When children have high self-efficacy they set high goals. For example, if a child knows they are good at spelling they'll set high goals in that area such as passing all of their spelling tests or trying out for the spelling bee. Even if the child doesn't make the spelling bee the child will have set and reached their goal of trying out for it.
The third way self-efficacy affects children's behavior and learning is through effort and persistence. When children work on an activity they have high self-efficacy in they'll apply more effort and be more persistent when obstacles arise. For example, if a child knows they are better at tennis than soccer they'll put more effort into becoming good at tennis rather than soccer. Where a child knows they're better at tennis than soccer when they lose a match or have a bad practice they'll come back and try again and be persistent at being better and meeting their goals. They'll work harder and put the effort into becoming better and doing better at their next practice and match.
The last way self-efficacy affects behavior and learning is in learning and achievement. It's important for children to have a realistic sense of their abilities to accomplish an activity. This helps them know how hard an activity will be for them and how much effort they need to put into an activity and where they may need to ask for help. It helps children know what activities are challenging for them and require their skills to be tested. However, it also helps children grow and develop a positive self-efficacy because they see for themselves they can accomplish activities that are hard for them. For example, if a child knows they aren't very good at science and they have a science project they need to complete they can put their best effort into the project and learn the new skills it will teach them, hone old ones and it will help develop a positive self-efficacy as they accomplish something that was difficult. Regardless of how the science project turns out the child has learned something about themselves that has developed their self-efficacy.
Developing self-efficacy in children is hard for parents to do. It's hard for parents to see their children struggle and it's easier to do an activity for them. However, to do things for them won't teach the child to be persistent, try, and the child won't learn anything other than the activity is something they can't do. Where it's hard to see children fail it's important to let them and to let them try so they learn to do hard things and reap the reward that comes from accomplishing something hard. Help them develop a positive self-efficacy by encouraging them, guiding them and helping when their frustration level hits the point of needing help and guidance. Self-efficacy is hard to develop but something that will help children succeed in life.