An Exploration of Classroom Experiences and the Science Self-Efficacy of High School Students



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Academic self-efficacy is believed to develop in the classroom through the four main sources identified by Bandura: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion and physiological response. In this qualitative case study of a single high school science department, thirty-six students and six teachers were interviewed and observed to identify and provide detailed descriptions of experiences that represented each of the four sources in a modern secondary science classroom Findings suggest that modeling served as the primary teacher behavior that enhanced the self-efficacy of students while teacher feedback and classroom culture promoted the development of self-efficacy through teacher–student interactions. Classroom structures such as retesting, online homework and peer grouping each played varying roles in science self-efficacy development as well. The results of the study have implications on how classroom experiences can support further development of self-efficacy within science courses at the secondary level.



self-efficacy, secondary science