F Statements or teaching practices that
compare students’ performance against
each other can ultimately backfire and
lower the motivation within the group.
A competitive environment may raise
the self-efficacy of the top students,
but is likely to lower the self-efficacy
of the rest of the class.
APPLICATIONS FOR SELF
So, back to that steep bump run that
you were gazing down. Knowing a few
things about self-efficacy can help you
formulate the following plan for your
own performance: draw on successful
experiences you’ve had on similar runs;
pick a favorite peer to watch or follow;
give yourself a pep talk and pick up on
the high-energy, athletic vibe that helps
you perform at your best. At the bottom
of the run, reflect on how it went and
which factors were in your control and
which were not.
And what’s next? After the success
of that run, plot your course for new
challenges that will propel you toward
your overall goals. By being attentive
to self-efficacy in yourself and in
your students, you are more likely
to achieve those goals and have fun
Instructors working together to improve their skiing is one example of
Karin Kirk is a PSIA-certified Level III
alpine instructor and staff trainer at
Montana’s Bridger Bowl, and is a former
president of the Northern Rocky Mountain
Division. When she’s not out hiking and
skiing with her clients, Karin works with
college science faculty to improve their teaching
and their understanding of student learning.
Fortunately, these two careers intersect nicely!
The single most important thing you can do for your students is create
mastery experiences, which build self-efficacy.
Bandura, Albert. 1994. “Self-Efficacy.” In V. S.
Ramachaudran (ed.), Encyclopedia of Human
Behavior, v. 4, pp. 71–81. New York: Academic Press.
(Reprinted in H. Friedman [ed.], Encyclopedia of
Mental Health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998.) Full
text available online at http://www.des.emory.edu/
mfp/ BanEncy.html (Accessed September 25, 2011.)
Fencl, Heidi and Karen Scheel. “Research and
Teaching: Engaging Students; An Examination
of the Effects of Teaching Strategies on Self-
Efficacy and in a Non-majors Physics Course.”
Journal of College Science Teaching, v. 35, issue 1
(September 2005), pp. 20–24.
Margolis, Howard and Patrick McCabe. “Improving
Self-Efficacy and Motivation: What to Do, What to
Say,” Intervention in School and Clinic, vol. 41, issue 4
(March 2006), pp. 218–227.
Frank Pajares. 2002. “Self-Efficacy Beliefs in
Academic Contexts: An Outline,” available online at
October 1, 2011.)
Schunk, Dale H. and Frank Pajares. 2002. “The
Development of Academic Self-Efficacy,” in
A. Wigfield and J. Eccles (eds,), Development
of Achievement Motivation. San Diego: Academic