Developing Student Self-Efficacy Through Academic Coaching

Developing Student Self-Efficacy Through Academic Coaching

Priyadarshini Dattathreya (Ross University School of Medicine, Barbados)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5039-0.ch010
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Academic self-efficacy has been identified as a predictor of success among students. Students' beliefs in their own ability to succeed academically can influence their levels of perseverance and effort. However, self-efficacy levels are impacted by prior knowledge, lived experiences, and social support systems. Students from diverse cultural backgrounds might display varying levels of self-efficacy leading to performance differences, high attrition, and low retention. Supporting the academic success of diverse students can be achieved by empowering them to identify their strengths and areas of improvement and setting appropriate learning goals. Academic coaching is a powerful student-centered approach to foster critical self-reflection, goal orientation, and autonomy. This chapter will outline the benefits of academic coaching and provide strategies to help students maximize their potential.
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Academic Self-Efficacy

What is Academic Self-Efficacy?

Academic self-efficacy is the student’s confidence in their ability to achieve a future performance goal (Bong & Skaalvik, 2003). The construct of academic self-efficacy can be better understood when compared with self-concept and self-esteem. Academic self-concept has been defined as a student’s perception about themselves in academic achievement situations (Ferla et al., 2009). Conversely, self-esteem is a perception of the students general self-worth, not specifically attached to their academics (Di Giunta et al., 2013). To further elaborate, there are three specific dimensions to academic self-efficacy. Firstly, self-efficacy is a student’s personal judgement of a specific ability, as opposed to their overall self-worth. Secondly, the judgement of said ability is oriented towards a future or prospective learning task. This distinguishes it from self-concept which is an overall image of their current self, which is developed based on past achievements. Thirdly, the focus of academic self-efficacy is on a specific behavior required to complete the prospective learning task, as opposed to self-esteem and self-worth which focuses on personal characteristics based on a composite self-perception (Di Giunta et al., 2013).

Understanding the three dimensions of academic self-efficacy will lay the foundation for better understanding of its complexities and the measures that can be taken to support student success.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cognition: mental processes involved in acquiring, storing, and retrieving information.

Student-Centered Education: Teaching strategies that are based on the assumption that students are active participants of their own learning. The role of the teacher is to facilitate student learning through problem solving activities.

Appreciative Inquiry: A strength-based approach to create sustainable behavioral change.

Metacognition: A type of higher-order thinking involving active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning.

Unconditional Positive Regard: A person-centered approach that puts judgements, labels, and biases aside to completely accept someone’s thoughts, actions, and words.

Higher Order Reasoning: A level of thinking and reasoning that is higher than rote memorization and basic recall. Some examples include application, analysis, evaluation, and creation.

Self-Regulated Learning: A cyclical process involving the formulation of learning goals, application of strategies to monitor the advancement toward these goals, followed by reflecting on said performance.

Teacher-Centered Education: Teaching strategies that are based on the assumption that teachers are the experts and students are passive consumers of knowledge. The role of the teacher is to impart knowledge to students through didactic instruction.

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