Self Efficacy In Early Childhood Education

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Introduction of the Problem According to Young (2012), early childhood education has gained a renewed interest over the past few years focusing on elevating the quality of early childhood programs throughout the nation (p. 5). In the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Public Policy Report (2012), Strategic Directions: Technical Assistance Professional in State Early Childhood Professional Development Systems, professional development is identified as essential to increasing the professional knowledge and skills of early childhood educators (Young, 2012, p. 5). As educators increase their professional knowledge and skills, it ultimately impacts the quality of early childhood programs (Cunningham,
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He believes that having a “strong sense of efficacy enhances human accomplishments and personal well-being in many ways” (Bandura, 1994, p. 1). Conversely, those people who are plagued with self-doubt have lower aspirations and expectations of success. Self-efficacy as defined by Bandura (1994) suggests that a person’s beliefs about their capabilities impact their ability to perform as it relates to life events. Furthermore, self-efficacy beliefs regulate feelings, thoughts, motivation, and behaviors. Self-efficacy is a “task-specific belief that regulates choice, effort, and persistence in the face of obstacles and in concert with the emotional state of the individual” (Bray-Clark & Bates, 2003, p. 14). Bandura (1994) contends people with an increased sense of efficacy are more apt to perform tasks they believe they are capable of performing viewing them as challenges to be mastered (p.1). Having a strong sense of efficacy encourages individuals to set challenging goals and develop a strong commitment to achieving those goals. Conversely, those individuals that have a lower sense of efficacy tend to avoid difficult tasks believing that it is reflective of their capabilities and view the tasks as obstacles. Having a low sense of efficacy creates individuals with low aspirations resulting in a waning commitment and a focus on personal deficiencies (Bandura, 1994, p.

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