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How might teachers enable self-confidence? A review study

MacLellan, Effie (2014) How might teachers enable self-confidence? A review study. Educational Review, 66 (1). pp. 59-74. ISSN 0013-1911

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In the context of learner-centred learning and curricular reform, self-confidence is invoked as an important construct. However, there is no easily available research-informed guidance on what self-confidence means for the professional teacher. This study uses the analytic technique of Concept Analysis to review psychology and education literatures to provide a 'take-home' message for teachers. The review identifies conceptual artefacts (ideas, theories, concepts which explain, connect, predict or apply knowledge) that the teacher can appropriate in order to enable learner self-confidence. These conceptual artefacts are classified in three groups: characterising self-confidence; self-judgements of confidence; and factors that influence the development of self-confidence. The review finds self-confidence to be a robust and stable psychological construct, best promoted through teachers' attention to learners' development of knowledge and engagement in socially designed learning activities. It further finds that teachers' attention to activities which involve learners' self-regulation are of importance.