What Is Academic Self-Efficacy?

A youth’s motivation and confidence in their academic performance.

Why Does Academic Self-Efficacy Matter?

Academic self-efficacy lends itself to higher grade point averages and standardized test scores, fewer suspensions and expulsions, and longer-term gains in skills to identify, attain, and retain a career (Afterschool Alliance, 2009; Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004).

How Can Program Boost Academic Self-Efficacy?

Prioritize Young People: Express to youth often that you expect them to try hard and do their best.

Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Engagement: Make sure your program includes opportunities for youth to work together in groups with other youth they’ve never met.

Coach Young People to Set and Achieve Their Goals: Help youth set personal goals and create plans to complete them. Encourage youth to take risks and push themselves and try activities/projects, especially when something was hard.

To Watch

To Read

  • Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional & Academic Development | "Social, Emotional & Academic Development": http://bit.ly/2n4pkJP 
  • Canadian Education Association (CEA) | Youth Confidence in Learning and the Future - A Concept Paper: http://bit.ly/2flgLEp 
  • VeryWell | "Self Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters": http://bit.ly/2f8dNX9 
  • What Kids Can Do (WKCD) | How Youth Learn - “Motivation and Mastery Highlights”: http://ow.ly/fBPc309GFXT


Associated Research

 Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Wang, M. C., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.) (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Afterschool Alliance. (2009). Taking a deeper dive into afterschool: Positive outcomes and promising practices. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http:// www.afterschoolalliance.org/documents/Deeper_Dive_into_Afterschool.pdf.

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