Self efficacy is the belief in ourselves to succeed in a specific situation – I would like to talk about the role of self efficacy in education. In academia children’s efficacy in their ability can help to regulate their own learning and therefore achievements. Self efficacy can determine the route that a child may take in order to perform well in exams. For example if a child is given a hard test but told that they should be able to perform well this may have a harming effect on their performance. They may start believing that they are not very intelligent they may not try as hard. This could only affirm their belief about their performance and therefore become a spiral of under performing and belief that this is all they may achieve.
First of all it is important to note whether the amount of instructional following can improve learning. In turn this action can improve self efficacy as it allows the children to understand that reading instructions correctly can improve achievement. Hushman et al (2015) gave sixty children three different types of instructions 1) guided instruction 2) direct instruction or 3) minimal instruction. Those in group 1 performed better in most experiments and reported greater changes in self efficacy through self reports. There was no difference between guided or direct instruction however they were better than minimal instruction.
Recent research by Caprara et al (2011) looked into self efficacy in more depth and its role in education in line with personality traits. Over 400 children were tested upon their personality traits at age 13 and 16. At 13 those children with high contentiousness had higher self efficacy in their abilities at age 16. Of course this makes sense as those who have a more contientious personality are those that are more likely to find methods to do their best in exams. They are the individuals that are going to buy all the revision guides read all the instructions carefully and going to read the questions in exams in details to make sure that they won’t miss anything vital. However, according to these researchers it is believed that there must be another factor beyond contentiousness that determines a students motivation to do well. This other factor is self efficacy: those students who are contientiousness AND have higher self efficacy in their abilities are going to be the ones who try harder.
Much research has been conducted in contientiousness and self efficacy in increasing academic achievement but little has been done as to why this occurs. Self efficacy has been linked with deeper processing strategies shown by Phan (2009), perhaps this may offer insight as to why self efficacy and contientiousness improve academic achievement. If people are more contientious and have higher self efficacy they may be more inclined to follow instructions such as in exams which will owe to a better academic achievement than those who don’t follow the instructions carefully.