The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
18. Self-Efficacy: An Essential Motive to Learn
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An Essential Motive to Learn
Barry J. Zimmerman
During the past two decades, self-efficacy has emerged as a highly effective predictor of students’ motivation and learning. As a performance-based measure of perceived capability, self-efficacy differs conceptually and psychometrically from related motivational constructs, such as outcome expectations, self-concept, or locus of control. Researchers have succeeded in verifying its discriminant validity as well as convergent validity in predicting common motivational outcomes, such as students’ activity choices, effort, persistence, and emotional reactions. Self-efficacy beliefs have been found to be sensitive to subtle changes in students’ performance context, to interact with self-regulated learning processes, and to mediate students’ academic achievement. (2000, Academic Press)
Educators have long recognized that students’ beliefs about their academic capabilities play an essential role in their motivation to achieve, but self-conceptions regarding academic performance initially proved difficult to measure in a scientifically valid way. Initial efforts to study students’ self-beliefs gave little attention to the role of environmental influences, such as specific features of performance contexts or domains of academic functioning. In the late 1970s, a number of researchers began to assess self-beliefs in a more task-specific way, and one of the most important of these efforts focused on self-efficacy. Bandura (1977a) proposed a theory of the origins, mediating mechanisms, and diverse effects of beliefs of personal efficacy, and he provided guidelines for measurement of self-efficacy beliefs for different domains of functioning....
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