"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Friday, April 22, 2011


[continued from the Last Post]

Question #7:

You seem to have put a lot of emphasis on developing self-efficacy skills as a prelude to academic achievement. Can you give us some pragmatic illustrations on how students can actually empower themselves with such skills, to make forward trajectories in their journey to academic success, and how their schools can attain eminence because of their students’ achievements along these lines?

DM: Self-Efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a manner designed to attain stated goals. It is the key to success in life! Goal-Setting alone is inadequate; it must lead to Goal-Getting. Some examples of famous personalities who have exhibited this sterling quality:

* Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school varsity basketball team.

* Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor who said he “lacked imagination.”

* Winston Churchill had to repeat a grade and twice failed the Royal Military Academy’s entrance exam.

* It took Thomas Edison more than1,000 attempts before he successfully invented the light bulb.

Each of these personalities, and many others, became successful despite many failures and rejections. Why? Self-efficacy.

In the 1970s Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura described a trait called “self-efficacy.” Self-efficacy can be defined as “the unshakable belief some people have that they have what it takes to succeed.” Unlike self-esteem, which is merely a feeling of self-worth, self-efficacy is a judgment that one has specific capabilities that will lead to success.

Interestingly, a key part of developing self-efficacy is failure itself. According to Prof. Bandura, “People need to learn how to manage failure so it’s informational and not demoralizing.” They see failure as part of the process to success, and some of their finest quotes confirm this perspective:

* “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That’s why I succeeded.” - Michael Jordan

* “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” - Thomas Edison

* “Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right.” - Henry Ford

NOTE: I am deeply indebted to Psychologist Professor Albert Bandura who defined self-efficacy as one's belief in his or her ability to succeed in specific situations. One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.

At this juncture, I am also reminded of these profound lines from John Gardner: “There is something I know about you that you may not even know about yourself. You have within you more resources of energy than have ever been tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than has ever been tested, and more to give than you have ever given.”

Ergo, every school must address every child’s self-efficacy needs!

[to be continued in the Next Post]

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