Many educational programs stress self-esteem, but children need more than high self-esteem to do well in the classroom. Children may believe that they are total failures without disliking themselves. Self-esteem is a judgment of self-worth, that is, whether you like or dislike yourself. Self-efficacy, however, is a judgment of personal capability, that is, whether or not one feels able to accomplish a particular task or perform a certain action.
There is no relationship between self-efficacy and self-esteem (Bandura, 1977). Efficacy, not self-esteem, accounts for academic success (Multon, Brown, & Lent, 1991). Efficacy fosters engagement (Schunk, 1991). Efficacy influences the effectiveness and consistency with which children apply what they know, and high self-efficacy affects the quality of children’s thinking by increasing their persistence (Bandura, 1997). Efficacy is a key factor in preventing addictive and risky behaviors (Petraitis, Flay, & Miller, 1995). Perceived self-efficacy is a controlling variable with behavioral intentions and behavior change (Schwarzer & Fuchs, 1995). Efficacy also affects moral and social development; therefore, efficacy should concern the classroom teacher, school counselor, psychologist, and, indeed, all practitioners who work with children. Self-efficacy is the first essential component of any successful preventative group intervention program. A group intervention must strengthen self-efficacy to address the problem of academic failure successfully.
KeywordsEfficacy Belief Learning Center Vicarious Experience Academic Failure Sight Word
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