Essay about Motivational Strategy Guidelines Based On Self-Efficacy

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Purpose of this paper

The purpose of this paper is three-fold: First, to examine briefly Social Cognitive Theory’s view on the contribution of self-efficacy to learning and motivation; Then, to offer some guidelines for motivational strategies reflecting self-efficacy concepts that have been supported by research; Finally, to provide some possible ways to implement these guidelines in a mathematics class.


Within us all is a desire to achieve. The need exists to show, to ourselves and to others, that we are capable in some area; that we are able to perform difficult tasks, acquire knowledge that no one else knows, run faster, jump higher, and live up to some perceived potential unique to us as individuals.
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The study of motivation has been influenced by various psychological theories.

Each of these theories state different sources of motivational needs, and each have certain drawbacks. Let us examine some of these theories that have developed over the years. Behavioral views

Behavioral views of motivation concentrate on extrinsic factors (external rewards or punishments) and reinforcement of desired behaviors (based on John Watsons’ mechanistic concept that behaviors could be totally described in terms of observable responses to certain stimuli). An extrinsically motivated student performs "in order to obtain some reward (good grades, teacher approval, etc.) or avoid some punishment external to the activity itself," as opposed to a student who is intrinsically motivated and undertakes an activity "for its own sake, for the enjoyment it provides, the learning it permits, or the feelings of accomplishment it evokes” (Lepper, 1988).

B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory proposes that the voluntary responses of people are strengthened when reinforced by rewards and weakened when they are ignored or punished. Related to students, Skinner developed programmed instruction, in which students were given positive reinforcement for correct responses, motivating the student to proceed with desired consequences.

The behavioral approach is limited, however, in that it stresses external motivating factors (praise,
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