Tuesday, December 15, 2009

“Self-regulation of self-efficacy and Attributions in Academic settings

Schunk, D. & Zimmerman, B. Self-Regulation & Learning Performing Issues and Educational Applications, “Self-regulation of self-efficacy and Attributions in Academic settings”, 1994, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey,

This chapter focuses on defining and differentiating between the two terms. Self-regulation has two types of motives, self-efficacy and attributions. Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief about their capabilities to learn. Attribution refers to beliefs concerning causes of the outcomes of learning. The study discusses a theoretical approach based on social cognitive theory.
The chapter discusses and researches student’s ability to regulate themselves. There are three primary factors involved in this; self-observation, self-judgment and self-reaction. The study finds that students show most improvement in their academic performance when they observe their own study habits, and have been provided clear performance goals that they can use to guide their progress. Student’s self-reactions tie into motivation when they evaluate themselves and their need for improvement. Most of the time, they will reward themselves tangible, purchasing something or giving a break from work, when they see improvement.
The research study used four different methods of feedback to monitor student’s self-efficacy and attributions. While working in small groups, teachers would provide feedback to students regarding their performance in the various ways; ability only, effort only, ability plus effort, and none. The findings show that students who received ability plus effort feedback showed the highest self-efficacy. The ability and effort alone showed some self-efficacy, when compared to no feedback. Findings also showed students with highest self-efficacies are more likely to solve problems correctly and spend more time attempting unsolvable problems than students with low self-efficacy. The research shows the correlation between self-efficacy and attribution while they also suggest more longitudal studies are necessary in order to be more valuable.

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