Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
January 11, 2024

Self Efficacy

Self Efficacy

If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you are probably right!


Self-efficacy isn’t a phrase you come across everyday, unless of cause you work in a school.  And while the words themselves aren’t spoken to often, the embodiment of the concept is part of the daily diet at BISC.  Simply put, self-efficacy is the individuals belief in their ability to successfully perform a specific task or achieve a particular goal. It is a self-belief that you can learn to do anything you put their mind to.  Albert Bandura who first coined the phrase, suggested that your belief in your own ability, is even more important that the ability itself.  If a student believes they can do it, they are more likely to be successful.

One of the core values that underpins learning at BISC (and is on the wall as you come into the reception area) is that students learn to “own their success and know how to be successful.”  A value that speaks to the development of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is not a fixed trait, but rather a dynamic and malleable one, influenced by a variety of factors, including experiences of success and failure, social support and feedback, and the learning environment.  If a student has had positive experiences in the past with tasks, they are more likely to believe that they are capable of performing well in the future. Similarly, if a student has a strong support system in the form of parents, teachers and peers who believe in their abilities, they are more likely to have high self-efficacy.

On the other hand, if a student has had negative experiences in the past or lacks support from their environment, they may have low self-efficacy, which can lead to them struggling and to a lack of motivation to succeed.

A key factor in promoting self-efficacy is helping students to develop a growth mindset. This involves teaching students that their abilities are not fixed, but can be developed through hard work and attention to the things that work for them.  By emphasizing the importance of effort and persistence, we can help to promote a belief in the power of one’s own actions and abilities.

Research has consistently shown that students who have high levels of self-efficacy tend to be more motivated, engaged, and persistent in their academic pursuits. These students are more likely to set challenging goals for themselves, put in extra effort when faced with obstacles or setbacks, and take personal responsibility for their learning. 

We can all play our part in helping young people develop their sense of self-efficacy.  By understanding the factors that influence students' and taking steps to support its development, we can help to create a positive and empowering learning environment that fosters student motivation, engagement, and achievement. 

We can all take steps that:

  • Encourage Positive Self-Talk: Encourage students to use positive self-talk and self-affirmations to build their confidence. Help them to identify and challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive, empowering ones.
  • Provide Opportunities for Success: Create opportunities for students to experience success in a variety of academic and non-academic areas. Celebrate their accomplishments and help them to see the connection between their efforts and their achievements.
  • Set Challenging Goals: Encourage students to set challenging goals for themselves and provide support and guidance to help them achieve those goals. Help them to break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps and celebrate their progress along the way.
  • Provide Constructive Feedback: Offer constructive feedback that focuses on students' strengths and areas for improvement, rather than just pointing out their mistakes. Help them to see how their efforts can lead to improvement and success.
  • Foster a Growth Mindset: Encourage a growth mindset in which students see their abilities as malleable and believe that they can improve with effort and practice. Help them to see mistakes and failures as opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Create a Supportive Environment: Foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students feel safe to take risks, ask questions, and make mistakes. Provide opportunities for collaboration and peer support.
  • Develop Positive Partnerships: Work at fostering a meaningful partnership between the parents, student, peers and teachers so that everyone can talk openly about success and factors that support it, about set back and how to move through them, and ultimately to acknowledge their achievements encourage them to keep going.

Every goal we achieve, drives us on to achieve more; every word of encouragement that focusses on the effort, motivates us to keep going; and a classroom environment that cultivates trust and embraces trial and error, is one in which self-efficacy can thrive. 

Our goal here at BISC is to empower every student to believe in their abilities with a sense of realism, to know how they learn best and to advocate for their own success, and to love the art of learning for its own sake. 

We can all climb mountains, simply because we believe we can.