The Role of Self-Efficacy in Student Motivation and Reading Achievement
Patrick P. McCabe, Department of Human Services and Counseling, School of Education
Self-efficacy is the belief that one has the ability to accomplish a particular goal. It is a predictive belief about one’s self that can vary across domains and tasks. At a domain level, a student might have high self-efficacy for reading, but low self-efficacy for math. At a task level, a student might have high self-efficacy for reading a social studies textbook, but low self-efficacy for reading a science textbook. Although not necessarily accurate, self-efficacy beliefs regulate student motivation and behavior because they strongly influence the decision to become involved in an activity. Students with high self-efficacy for reading are likely to become engaged in reading; those with low self-efficacy are less likely to do so. Unfortunately, there are many students who have the ability to read, but who also have the belief that they do not possess that ability. Therefore, these students often choose not to become involved in reading. My interest is in how teachers can enhance self-efficacy development in the academic setting.