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Unformatted text preview: person’s belief about how likely it is that she or he can
perform a task successfully. If learners have high self-efficacy, they believe they
can succeed if they try. Low levels of self-efficacy would mean that learners
doubt their ability to succeed if they try. Self-efficacy beliefs are important
because they influence how people, “think, motivate themselves, and behave”
(Bandura, 1993, p. 118).
It should be noted that self-efficacy is not the same as self-concept. Selfefficacy involves personal judgments about the likelihood of success for a
particular task. (Gaskill & Woolfolk Hoy, 2002; Pajares, 1997). Self-concept is
more general and consists of a variety of different self-beliefs. Consequently, self- 10 efficacy can be viewed as a part of self-concept. We will have more to say about
self-efficacy beliefs later in the chapter.
Social Cognitive Theory and the Teaching/Learning Process
The assumptions that social cognitive theorists make about learners form
the basis for their discussions of classroom teaching and learning. First, symbolic
representation is important for understanding the role of consequences in learning.
Second, vicarious learning provides us with an extremely useful process for
acquiring complicated cognitive and social behaviors, and attitudes. Third, our
potential for self-regulation has important implications for how you might think
about classroom management and motivation issues.
The Role of Consequences in Learning
As you learned in Chapter 2, consequences have a central role in a
behavioral explanation of learning. From a traditional behavioral perspective,
behavior is controlled directly by its immediate consequences. People acquire
new behaviors because of the effects of reinforcement and punishment on that
Based on his views of learners, Bandura modified the behavioral view of
consequences for a number of reasons. First, although he acknowledged that
consequences could play an important role in regulating learners’ existing
behaviors, he al...
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- Spring '08