An auto-photographic study of self-efficacy among preschool graduates in their middle-school years
Smith, Janice S.
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An Auto-Photographic Study of Self-efficacy among Preschool Graduates in their Middle-School Years examines childhood academic self-efficacy focused on the theoretical relationships between experience, motivational advantage, and social adjustment. My purpose in exploring childhood academic self-efficacy was motivated by the realization that self-efficacy has garnered little attention in longitudinal studies. The premise underlying my research is rooted in the idea that by looking primarily at the quantification of academic outcomes, leaders miss an opportunity to understand the influence of non-cognitive skills associated with individual success. A complementary purpose in conducting the study was to explore efficacy from the perspectives and experiences of children themselves, predicated on a belief that their perspectives are central to understanding the impact of personal and social development's influence on motivational advantage and social adjustment. In this study, I analyzed eight student-photographers' experiences, reflections, and beliefs via a camera project where children became active co-researchers sharing perspectives on a variety of topics they captured with their cameras. What they captured photographically served as an introduction to examining their ideas and points of view. Along with structures provided through Pearson's Work Sampling System and Bandura's social learning theory, my interpretation of the findings suggests young children exposed to quality early childhood programs may evidence self-efficacy and human agency in adolescence. This iterative process led to the design of an Efficacy Venn, a visual model allowing a view of self-efficacy development through the use of feedback loops. The Efficacy Venn reflects the hypothesis that self-appraisal is central to the self-efficacy process and offers a visualization of how self-efficacy feedback loops may interact with and strengthen the development of soft skills while simultaneously strengthening the self-appraisal process itself.
Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Education and School Psychology