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South African Journal of Education

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A self-efficacy approach to holistic student development

Lesley A Wood, MAJ Olivier

Abstract


Increasing numbers of students are arriving at tertiary institutions lacking in the skills needed to cope with the social and academic demands of higher education. Tertiary institutions are, therefore, faced with the task of equipping students with the skills needed to ensure that they can perform at an acceptable level. One such attempt to address this problem in a foundation course offered by the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) is outlined. It is argued that student acquisition of the necessary social and academic skills will be more successful if they first believe they are capable of performing well and attaining the goals they set for themselves. The academic and life skills module (UPA111), offered in the foundation programme (UPE Advancement Programme), is designed to increase the self-efficacy of students so that they can approach their tasks with confidence, a positive attitude, and the belief that they can succeed. It is explained how self-efficacy is developed in students in the foundation programme in order to better prepare them for tertiary studies. Preliminary evaluation of the programme indicated that it does increase the self-efficacy of students.

South African Journal of Education Vol.24(4) 2004: 289-294



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