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Unformatted text preview: 1996; Walker, 2003; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons,
1990). 34 Persistence is students’ willingness to continue to try in the face of
adversity. Students with high levels of self-efficacy tend to continue to expend
effort when they encounter adversity (Jinks & Morgan, 1999; Lackey, Miller, &
Flanigan, 1997; Pajares, 1997; Schunk & Pajares, 2002; Zimmerman, 2000). This
willingness to persist is very important when students are engaged in the learning
of new and highly complicated skills.
Finally, self-efficacy is related to a number of important emotional
responses. High levels of self-efficacy are associated with decreased levels of
stress, anxiety, and depression (Bandura, 1997; Pajares & Kranzler, 1995). Also,
people who have high self-efficacy for their ability to cope with emotional
challenges are more likely to take on emotionally threatening situations (Bandura,
1998). In general, students who believe they can succeed tend to develop more
positive emotional reactions about learning.
How to enhance self-efficacy. Given the importance of self-efficacy as a
motivational factor, classroom environments need to facilitate high levels of
student self-efficacy. Higher levels of student self-efficacy can be encouraged in a
number of ways (Bandura, 1993; Fall & McLeod, 2001; Schunk, 1987, 1996;
Walker, 2003; Zimmerman, 2000).
• Help students develop the idea that ability can be acquired and
improved. This can be accomplished in general by making sure
that students are working toward achievable improvement goals, 35 and by providing students with the help they need to achieve those
• Downplay social comparisons and academic competition. Instead,
emphasize self- comparisons. For example, have students chart
their own improvement, or use evaluation approaches tike
portfolios that show improvement. • Help students believe that they can succeed through effort. Teach
students cognitive and metacognitive strategies that will help them
improve their performance. • Provide frequent feedback to students about their progress. • Provide instruct...
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- Spring '08