Term Paper: Self-Efficacy: A Definition Social Cognitive

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[. . .] A cycle self supporting cycle is created by the teacher of wither utilizing the technology in the class room as an important part of the instruction, or treating it like an unwanted add on to their standard teaching methodology. The course of actions taken by the teacher is one which will support itself, and duplicate itself unless acted on by an outside force.

Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory

Bandura believed that cognitive theories which attached human behaviors exclusively to external stimuli were simplistic perspectives on personality. His work has arisen from the belief that a person's personality and their environment determine and influence each other. His work, while begun with adolescents, developed these four steps in the process which he believed modeled and shaped a personal character. While this dissertation is not measuring personal character development, the application is similar. The person who is learning a significantly new process, and integrating that process into everyday activities is like a person earning to be kind to their neighbor, or learning how to integrate any other social skill, In order to learn the new behavior, the person follows these same four steps.

Attention: The level to which a person was affected by their environment was a measure of the attention paid to it. Bandura suggested that we pay attention to what which is most like ourselves, or that which we receive positive motivation in return.

Retention. We remember that which we have paid attention to. Therefore these influences will likely have the most influence on us.

Reproduction. Those things which we have given our attention, and applied via retention will be those characteristics which resurface in our life. Angry children were likely treated with anger in their home. The same can be said about patient children. Teachers who have a positive integration of technology in the classroom have learned that ability, either in their personal life or because of the school's support environment.

Motivation. Even with the patterns of attention, retention, and preproduction, these three forces will likely remain ineffective on our life unless we perceive a motivation to apply what we have taken in. The motivations Bandura suggests are most influential are reinforcements for behavior, or punishment for our actions. (Boeree, 1998)

Bandura's theory regarding behavior found its roots in his believe that behavior and environment are mutually reciprocal in influence. (VerWys, 2001) The person who develops specific behavior does so because he or she has applied himself to that learning process, and has received positive reinforcement as motivation, or negative reinforcement to eliminate other specific behaviors. Bandura continues by writing that person who develops avoidance behaviors is likely a person who has experienced disappointments, and developed maladaptive response to his environment. The personality categories which are at the center of these experiences most often are depression from failure and phobias from personal injury. But developing maladaptive, or avoidance behaviors is not limited to depression and phobic behavior. Typical passive aggression is a maladaptive behavior directed toward the object of the person anger.

While these emotional quotients are not often applied to whether a teacher works with a computer in the classroom, the principles which are developed by Bandura apply. It is also important to lay this foundation to understanding the factors which are behind the teacher's self- efficacy in order to understand the data that if reviewed in the next section of this chapter.

The teacher who is using, or not utilizing technology in the classroom, is making their choices based on emotionally connected reasoning. The teacher who does not adapt through positive experiences to a new behavior within his environment, will tend to develop protectional habits. These learned protectional responses, which appear in the person as a number of different activities then interfere with his ability to function in a positive and proactive manner with his environment. Therefore, the teacher who does not feel self-efficacy toward the integration of technology in the classroom will likely develop maladaptive behaviors toward the technology, thereby limiting his or her interaction with the technology. The critical result of this experience is that the student experience with technology is also limited. In the end the student and teacher do not experience the full benefit of having technology on the classroom. The result is that the student is not educated to the extent of the opportunity which is available to the, and the school does not receive a return their investment in the technology brought into the school.

Triangulation Data Analysis

Another brick to lay in the foundation regarding the data analysis before beginning the analysis is the idea of triangulation. Triangulation analysis seeks to develop multiple forms of overlapping and diverse pieces of evidence and perspectives in order to develop an intimate and expanded understanding of the data collected. (Shafer, 1998) The simple diagram below is a visual representation of the process. Process 1, 2, and 3 are all performed on the same experimental research evaluation. The individual processes can return data that is skewed for a number of reasons. The researchers own bias or influence on the subjects can affect the quality of the data. The individual process can return inaccurate data because of the study design, or the way the questions are asked, or any one of a number of reasons. However, by performing multiple processes, the results that overlap each other are those results that can be heavily relied upon as accurate.

Triangulation is a key factorial tenant of the approach to data gathering when studying people groups and their behaviors and therefore, key to educational research. The researcher should gather a wide variety of evidence for the purposes of triangulation (Jacob, 1990; O'Malley & Valdez Pierce, 1996; Wiggins, 1998).

Triangulation works because, as opposed to relying on one single form of evidence or perspective as the basis for findings, multiple forms of diverse evidences are used to check the validity and reliability of the findings (Jacob, 1990; O'Malley & Valdez Pierce, 1996; Maxwell, 1996; Wiggins, 1998). By using multiple forms of evidence and perspectives, a truer portrait of the subject of the study can be developed (Wiggins, 1998). Researchers unknowingly bring their own perspective into the research, and while it is impossible to eliminate these same biases in evidence collection process, the data collection and research rises to a level of increased integrity because more types of evidence are being used to form the opinions of the study. Through triangulation, there are more cross checks on the accuracy of the data, and on the conclusions drawn.

These observations by Bandura support at following hypothesis of this dissertation.

The teacher's personal sense of efficacy toward technology has a great amount of influence on the level to which the teacher will include technology in the classroom.

The teachers personal attitudes and behaviors, which have been created by their experience with technology, will greatly affect their willingness and effectiveness to include technology in the class room

In order to change, the teacher's attitudes and efficacy must be acted upon by an outside force which crease the motivation, and affect internalized change in the teacher.

Teacher's specifics:

The task of creating environments which are conducive to learning rests heavily on the talents and self-confidence of teachers. Evidence indicates that classroom atmospheres are influenced by teachers' beliefs in their instructional efficacy. The idea that the teaching quality critically affects student's learning has been confirmed by many research programs (Shulman, 1986). A teachers "Sense of Personal Efficacy" is an "internal, thinking variable which influences teachers' actions, student actions and ultimately the learning success" (Onofre, M., and Carreiro da Costa, F, 1995). In fact, "Teacher Efficacy" research has demonstrated the relationship between the teacher's "Self-efficacy" perceptions and the quality of teacher's performance (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). These results support the idea that if the teacher's behavior is according to the interactive teaching pattern suggested in a "Process-Product" method, it is because they have a high sense of efficacy capacity. Through a study analyzing PE teacher's "Self-efficacy" in implementing effective pedagogical principles (Onofre & Carreiro da Costa, 1992), it has been demonstrated that the teachers do not present a similar "Self-efficacy" perception in their interactive teaching efforts. These differences can be explained by teacher values about teaching and through their pedagogical and technical knowledge. In fact, on general teaching research, Anderson et al. (1988) have demonstrated that teachers with a higher sense of efficacy revealed a more pragmatic conception of teaching.

Gibson and Dembo (1984) found that teachers who have a high sense of instructional efficacy, a high degree of self-confidence in their abilities which they turn into action in the classroom, devote more of their classroom time to academic learning. These teachers provide students who have difficulty learning with the individualized help they need to succeed. These teachers are more likely to engage the students emotionally as well as intellectually, and praise them for their accomplishments.

In contrast, teachers who have a low sense of instructional efficacy, or a diminished… [END OF PREVIEW]

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