can clarify exactly what they intend to
do next (Schunk and Pajares 2002).
F;If a student is not successful at a
given task, point out that this does
not mean that he or she is hopeless
or suffers from a lack of ability. Keep
failures in context and adjust the
challenge so that the next endeavor is
a successful one.
F;Compare student performance to the
goals set for that student, rather than
to the rest of the class.
F;Keep in mind that mastery experi-
ences are the most powerful way to
raise self-efficacy. Structure the lesson
to deliberately bring out a series of
successes, and be sure to point those
out along the way. For example,
partway through the warm-up run,
make a point of describing the best
aspects of your student’s riding. This
will immediately provide a self-efficacy
boost and will reassure the student
about what he or she is doing right.
From there, raise the level of difficulty
gradually and break complicated tasks
into manageable components so that
the student is likely to be successful
TEACHING PRACTICES TO AVOID
In his chapter on self-efficacy in 1994’s
Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, Albert
Bandura notes that certain well-worn
teaching practices may have the unintended effect of diminishing the self-efficacy of students who aren’t at the top
of the class. These include:
F;Generalized, “lock-step” instruction,
which is inflexible and is not tailored
to individual student performances.
Formulaic instruction makes it
harder for students to ask questions,
get individualized feedback, or learn
at a pace that is different from that
set by the instructor. The result
may be that students who become
discouraged, confused, or bored are
likely to remain so.
should do, so that they can take comfort in having a
plan to follow. This is especially important for new
instructors who may be uncertain about how to
handle various situations or for instructors who are
taking on unfamiliar assignments.
4. Allow instructors to make their own choices.
The ability to determine one’s own path leads to
high motivation, while dictating every step of the
job can result in disenfranchised employees. Set up
some areas of your instructor development program
that allow instructors to make their own decisions
and to be responsible for those outcomes. Encourage
instructors to focus their development along paths
that are the most desirable and relevant to them,
and strategize with them to outline steps to help
them achieve their professional goals. Pathways that
allow instructors to develop specific skills include
freestyle, big-mountain skiing and riding, children’s
development, race programs, women’s programs,
adaptive programs, and so on.
5. Give frequent, focused feedback.
Getting feedback and encouragement is essential for
every instructor. Use praise when earned; make it
credible and avoid hyperbole. Make sure the feedback
is accurate and meaningful and is more specific than
a simple “nice job” type of comment. The more
feedback you provide, the better your instructors will
understand what you expect of them and what type
of behavior they’ll need to be successful. If corrective
feedback is needed, do so earlier rather than later, so
that the instructor has not had opportunity to veer far
off course and has only small changes to make. When
giving feedback on instructor performance, compare
to past performances by that instructor; resist the
temptation to make comparisons between instructors.
Anita Woolfolk Hoy. “Efficacy in College Teaching,” in Essays on
Teaching Excellence, v. 15, no. 7 (2003–04).
Margolis and McCabe, ibid.