Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation
The social cognitive theory explains that learning will take place in a social context where the individuals’ interaction with the environment and their behavior will have a significant impact on their learning outcome and goals. In this regard, self-efficacy and self-regulation will able to significantly affect the learning outcomes in that context. It is because self-efficacy is the belief that an individual, has on their ability to succeed in a specific situation or accomplish a particular task (Bouffard et al., 2011). In case an individual lacks the self-efficacy they will be ineffectual in doing something even if they know what to do. Therefore, when learning an individual with self-efficacy believe they will achieve a certain goal, they will struggle and remain determined until they learn the skill. On the other hand, self-regulation is the ability to have a reliable emotional wellbeing. Therefore, an individual will have the ability to work in their long-term best interests and accordance other deepest values which are according to the guidelines from the social cognitive theory (Bouffard et al., 2011).
Self-efficacy and self-regulation have a relation on how the students will be able to learn. Self-efficacy is one’s belief in their own abilities to handle and finish the tests that they are presented with while learning. On the other hand, the self-regulation determines how an individual will be able to handle the difficulties and the stresses that come with the learning exercise. When a student has a self-efficacy in a subject like maths they will approach it differently than when they do not have self-efficacy in another subject like literature. Likewise, a student with self-regulation will be able to handle the workload more appropriately than when the student that does not have self-regulation (Bouffard et al., 2011).
Self-regulation and self-efficacy are related in that without the existence of one, the other will fail, they need to co-exist (Schunk, 2014). For example, if an individual has poor self-regulation, they will not be able to understand how to handle the workload and the stress. Even though they have self-efficacy they might be overwhelmed and try to rush through things or use unfair means of achieving learning goals like cheating. Ultimately the self-efficacy might also reduce as they are frustrated (Shunk, 2014). Due to all these problems, it is important for parent and teachers to encourage behaviors that will promote both self-efficacy and regulation from as early as possible to increase learning outcomes.
The first age-appropriate strategy (for students in grade 1-8) to promote self-efficacy and self-regulation is to use goal setting approach. When using this approach, the student will be allowed to set their goals and objectives under the guidance of the teachers and the parents. They will then know that with enough self-efficacy they will be able to achieve the goal. Additionally, they will know what it takes to achieve the goal. They can then work towards the goals. The approach promotes both self-efficacy and self-regulation. The second approach is giving the students clear instructions and deadlines. The instructions will allow them to know what is expected of them, by when. That way they will strive to beat the deadlines and still meet the objective of the exercise. In that regard, they will promote both their self-efficacy and their self-regulation. The third approach is providing feedback to the students. Whether it is negative or positive feedback, students must know the feedback. If they are doing well they can be congratulated, if they are performing poorly they can be encouraged and performed. Depending on the feedback the learners will be able to understand and enhance both their self-regulation and self-efficacy (Pajares, 2014).
From the explanations, it is clear that self-efficacy and self-regulation significantly influence the learning context of the social cognitive theory. Self-efficacy enhance belief in oneself and self-regulation enhances good behavior that will allow one to achieve the goals. The two are related such that with inexistence of one, the other might fail. Additionally, self-efficacy and self-regulation should be promoted from a very early through the provision of clear instructions, feedback, and goal setting.
Bouffard-Bouchard, T., Parent, S., & Larivee, S. (2011). Influence of self-efficacy on self-regulation and performance among junior and senior high-school-age students. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 14(2), 153-164.
Pajares, F. (2014). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of educational research, 66(4), 543-578.
Schunk, D. H. (2014). Self-regulation of self-efficacy and attributions in academic settings.