Creating a Culture of Self

Creating a Culture of SelfEfficacy and Resiliency
Using What We Know About Learning
Cal Crow, Ph. D.
[email protected]
Self-Efficacy, a student’s belief in her/his
capability to perform a task or manage a
situation, is often called the major predictor
of success in school and work.
Closely related to self-efficacy is resiliency, a
student’s ability to overcome obstacles and
rebound from setbacks. Although it is part
of our nature, many individuals lose it
along the way.
Numerous studies have indicated that
increasing a student’s self-efficacy and
resiliency (an internal transformation)
will create more positive results than
trying to induce behavior change from the
outside, e.g., through information, rules,
remediation, and threats (external
transactions). Recent studies
questioning the effectiveness of
community college “remedial education”
are a case in point.
Self-efficacy increases when students-are given “mastery experiences,” i.e.,
things they learn to do that they once
thought beyond them.
learn of others, similar to themselves, who
have become successful.
work with credible people they trust who
sincerely believe in and encourage them.
can visualize a desirable, successful future.
Self-efficacy decreases when a student
acquires a feeling of failure.
Resiliency increases when students-encounter caring adults who support them
and have their best interests at heart.
have high expectations for themselves
because others have high expectations for
are given a voice and an opportunity to
contribute in some way.
Educator self-efficacy significantly
influences (some say predicts) student
 If we believe we are capable of helping all
students perform successfully, we will find
a way to make this occur. And when this
occurs, student self-efficacy will increase.
 Curriculum delivery and relationships with
students are extremely important here.
 When
students experience
success, self-efficacy and
motivation increase.
 When students experience failure,
self-efficacy and motivation
In order to increase student success and
retention rates, we will want to shift the
focus from what we do (transactions) to
how students experience what we do
 In other words, the question is not, “What
are we doing?” but “What difference are
we making?”
Self-efficacious, resilient individuals rarely
become stuck. They know that there is an
alternative “out there” that will help them
find success. You will seldom hear these
individuals say, “I’ve tried everything.”
 (Just for the record, no one has tried
We want to create a culture where every
student becomes this type of efficacious,
resilient individual.
 We know how to do this, and we know
that it will make a difference.
 A good first step in creating such a culture
is to ask “interesting” questions that lead
to new and different conversations.
Is there a difference between focusing on
teaching and focusing on learning? If so,
what is it?
 What is the purpose of a course syllabus?
What/whose need is it meeting?
 What role do self-efficacy and resiliency
play in students’ bonding with the college?
What recurring conversations do we have
about student learning, retention,
motivation, performance, etc.?
How might we reframe these
conversations in order to generate
different outcomes?
What changes would need to occur if a
college wanted to create a culture of selfefficacy and resiliency on its campus?
If we could change one thing to improve
student learning and success on our
campus, what would it be?

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