By Debbie Silver
Research that clearly indicates:
- When parents are involved, students achieve more, regardless of socio-economic status, ethic-racial backgrounds or the parents education level.
- The more extensive the parent involvement, the higher the student achievement.
- When parents are involved, students exhibit more positive attitudes and behaviour.
- Children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when parents and professionals collaborate to bridge the gap between the culture at home and the learning institution.
- Secondary students whose parents remain involved make better transitions, maintain the quality of their work and develop realistic plans for their future. Students whose parents are not involved are more likely to drop out.
- The most accurate predictor of a students achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student’s family is able to:
- create a home environment that encourages learning
- communicate high, yet reasonable expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers
- become involved in their children’s education at school and in the community
- The choices we make
- The effort we put forth (how hard we try)
- Our perseverance (how long we persist when we confront obstacles)
- Our resilience (how quickly we recover from failure or setbacks
Albert Bandura (1925 – ) popularized the term self-efficacy. He defines it as part of our “self system” that helps us to evaluate our performance. Perceived self-efficacy refers to ones impression of what one is capable of doing. This comes from a variety pf sources, such as personal accomplishments and failures, seeing others who are similar to oneself and verbal persuasion.
Verbal persuasion may temporarily convince people that they should try or avoid some task, but in the final analysis it is one’s direct or vicarious experience with success or failure that will most strongly influence one’s self-efficacy. For example, a teacher may “fire-up”her students before a standardised test by telling the kids how great they are, but the enthusiasm will be short-lived if the test is completely beyond their ability or their perceived beliefs that they can actually do well.
People with high-perceived self-efficacy try more, accomplish more, and persist longer at a talk than people with low perceived self-efficacy. Bandura speculates that this is because people with high perceived self-efficacy tend to feel they have more control over their environment and, there experience less uncertainty.
For more information on Debbie Silver and her teachings, please visit her website