The role of self belief/ the
importance of the relationship
with the self
Liz Lowenstein, UFA National Team
Fellows Conference 2006
Today we will aim to…
• develop our understanding of the concept
of self belief
• develop an awareness of our own self
• explore the factors that influence the
development of self belief
• explore strategies and approaches which
help to foster self belief in our learners
Ground Rules SF
What is self – belief… ?
• A story…
• 20 statements test:
1) A learner with high self belief…..
2) A learner with low self belief …..
Find Someone Who…
and poster walk …
In the context of developing self
• Poster walk…and thinking time
4 mins: What is self belief? Use posters to
2 mins: What are self regulated learners..?
So…How are the two related?
• “We must encourage our dreamers,
but we must also give them
resources, the hard facts and the
solid materials to build their dreams
Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for
Education in Arts Professional 14th
“I am the decisive element in my classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the
climate. It is my daily mood that makes the
weather. As a teacher I possess tremendous
power to make a child’s life miserable or
joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an
instrument of inspiration. I can humble or
humour, hurt or heal. In all situations it is
my response that decides whether a crisis
will be exacerbated or de-escalated – a child
de-humanised or humanised.”
This is what we DO NOT want to happen to our
learners- lack of self belief, feeling of failure
This is what we want our learners to feel: high
self esteem and self belief!
Diamond Card sort..
• Which of these characteristics most
represents a learner with high self
• Prioritise the cards…
• What have we learnt?
Close your eyes …
• Picture a time when you had:
• a high level of energy
• openness to learning …
How did you feel??
Sketch of your self image map..
troughs Try to jot down
in terms explanations why you
of your felt higher or lower in
feelings self esteem
Your life span from 0 yrs to present
Peter Senge, 2003
• “The central practice of personal
mastery involves learning to keep
both a personal vision and a clear
picture of current reality before us.
Doing this will generate a force
within ourselves called ‘creative
tension’. Tension, by its nature, seeks
The Fifth Discipline page 195
• "Perhaps the most important vision of
all is to develop a sense of self, a sense
of your own destiny, a sense of your
unique mission and role in life, a sense
of purpose and meaning."
Dr. Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit:
From Effectiveness to Greatness
In order to
self belief, we need
to understand a bit
about the brain..
What are the
• “Learned optimism works not
through an unjustifiable positivity
about the world but through the
power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”
Martin Seligman (1988, p22.)
Becoming a self regulated learner
• Conceptions of self regulatory learning in the
• Dawn of 20th century- psychology emerged as a
science- individual differences became more
• John Dewey,. E.L. Thorndike, Maria Montessori,
all suggested ways of altering the curriculum to
accommodate students’ individual differences
• Late 70’s and early 80,s- new perspective-
metacognition and social cognition (see research
• Social cognitive researchers interested in social
influences on self regulation..
• Those who set specific and proximal goals
displayed superior achievement and perceptions
of personal self efficacy..
• Spontaneous improvements through recording
• Thus… “self awareness can produce a readiness
that is essential for personal change”
Contemporary research reveals that the self
motivated quality of self regulated
learners depends on several underlying
beliefs, including perceived efficacy and
intrinsic interest. (see p 3 Zimmerman,
The structure of self- regulatory
According to social learning psychologists
1) Forethought phase
2) Performance phase
3) Self reflection phase
(see p 4 Zimmerman)
Self reflection Performance
Self judgment Self-control
Self reaction Self observation
Tapping students motivation to
learn- Traits of self directed
• Student motivation.. Complex and broad concept
• Goal orientation- a narrower concept
• Self efficacy- “people’s judgements of their capabilities to
organize and execute course of action required to attain
designated types of performances” (Bandura, 1996)
• Locus of control- “the tendency students have to ascribe
achievements and failures to either internal factors that they
control (effort, ability, motivation) or external factors that are
beyond control (chance, luck, others’ actions)
• Meta cognition
• Self regulation
An experiential activity to get us
thinking and talking and acting…
Dealing with Feelings…
Be careful what you say!
What I hear
How I behave What I think
Whether you think you can, or think you
can’t- you’re right!
How feedback can influence actions
Feedback and experiences
Generate responses such as: strongly
•Anticipation whether an
• Cynicism individual
Which Generate: will be
• Optimism motivated
• Confidence to take
•Opinions action or
• Frustration not
Dealing with Feelings…
What is the voice
inside you saying?
I want to
I love do this!
I can’t do I hate
I don’t want to
What do I say when they say….
Using post it notes, think of as Everyone will
many positive responses to
some of the negative things laugh at me!
you might hear from learners.
I’m no good at
I can’t be
It’s too hard!
Feedback can be divided into two main
Rosenthal and Jacobsen’s Pygmalion in
The power of Teachers’ expectations
•Teachers’ internalised views of students’
capabilities have a direct impact on students’
•Students were grouped randomly, but teachers
were told they were different in ability
•The results of the ‘low achievers’ went down
Rosenthal identified six ways in which the
teachers communicated high expectations:
•The teacher expressed confidence in her ability to help
•The teacher expressed confidence in the students’
•Her non verbal signals were consistent with what she
said: tone of voice; eye contact; level of energy
•Feedback from teacher was specific and ample and
mentioned both good and bad
•The teacher gave detailed input to individual students
•The teacher encouraged individual improvement
• Make reference to the behaviour you are pleased about
• Consider the components of a full praise statement
• Make your feedback interesting
• Vary the frequency
• As a general rule, give feedback as quickly as possible ‘after
• Make sure the message is received
• Pitch your feedback at the right emotional level
• Give some thought to non- verbals
•Remember you need to think about WHAT is
said and HOW it is said
•It is very easy to make corrective
feedback unhelpful. The key aim is to
make the corrective feedback HELPFUL
•Remember that your team members are valuable-
make them feel good- focus on their strengths!
•Refer to past successes in dealing with a problem
•Use ‘when/then’ rather than ‘no/because’
•Recognise feelings and emotions
•Refer to the behaviour that is required
•Refer to the positive rather than the negative
The wider context:
The BASI(C)S model
From Alistair Smith: Accelerated Learning in the Classroom
Our Deepest Fear - Nelson Mandela
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
Actually, who are you NOT to be? …
Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
Nelson Mandela Inaugral Speech, 1994