Sunday, April 27, 2014


In the midst of testing season, it can feel as though the end of the year is right around the corner. In one way, it is. But most schools have 6 weeks remaining - valuable learning time - to the academic year.

One way to make this an even more valuable time is focusing students on their self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is someone's belief in their ability to succeed in a given situation. Many underachieving students do not believe they will be successful when facing tasks, and this lack of self-efficacy contributes to their ongoing struggles in school.

There are direct ways teachers can influence students' self-efficacy. Robert Marzano discusses seven phases for self-efficacy in an article in Educational Leadership.

The phases include helping your students reflect on the following questions:
  1. What do I want to accomplish?
  2. Who else has accomplished the same goal, and who will support me?
  3. What skills and resources will I need to accomplish my goal?
  4. What will I have to change about myself to achieve my goal?
  5. What is my plan for achieving my goal, and how hard will it be?
  6. What small steps can I take right now?
  7. How have I been doing, and what have I learned about myself?
Perhaps a focus on these phases can help support students in the finals days of the year. And as I reflect on these questions, I think I will go through this process myself to improve my teaching for the remainder of the year. These questions can be just as helpful in supporting teacher efficacy as in developing student self-efficacy.

How do you support your students' self-efficacy through the year?