About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5538-5544
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

DOES PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY INFLUENCE THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?

K. Nuga

Wayne State University (UNITED STATES)
The factors influencing students’ academic performance have been the focus of scholarly work for quite some time and they have attracted the attention not only of parents but of teachers and other stakeholders in education as well (Education Trust, 1998; House & Martin, 1998) . This is so particularly with regard to that category of students with special needs (referred to as LD or Learning Disabled) which is the focus of this study. These special needs students are known to be as intellectually competent as their regular education counterparts. So intractable is this problem of determining the factors that Roach (2004) was prompted to declare that “no clear clear-cut comprehensive map” leading to a permanent solution is about to emerge. The US Government established The Coleman panel as long ago as 1966 for this purpose, yet the situation persists.

Scholarly literature has identified a number of contextual factors as being responsible for this situation. These include the family (Thernstrom, 2003), the school (including teachers’ expectations), the nature of the urban environment (Jackson & Nutini, 2002), community factors (Steinberg, Dornbusch & Brown, 1992) and the parents’ socio-economic status (Bemak & Chung, 2003). Beyond these, however, are those other influences to which scholars have paid little attention. Thus, Ferguson (2002) found, in a study of the academic performance of middle school students in 15 suburban school districts across the United States, that psychological factors play a significant role in their academic performance. Accordingly, this study decided to focus on one such psychological factor and in so doing, had the additional effect of extending the literature because there is such a paucity of studies on this.

Specifically, the study focused on how the academic performance of students with special needs is influenced by their perception of their own self-efficacy. Bandura first put forward the psychological concept of self-efficacy in 1997 when he defined it as the beliefs people hold about the outcomes of their efforts or their beliefs in their ability to pursue a pre-determined course of action. The study site was a school district in Midwestern United States and the participants were 40 high school seniors in the district. The instrument used in the study was the Self-in-School (SIS) survey developed by Smith. The survey consisted of a set of 15 questions on a 5-point Likert scale. The responses were subjected to statistical analysis and the results indicated that the students with special needs had weaker scores on the scale than their regular education counterparts.

This was interpreted by referencing other studies that show this category of special needs students who are as competent intellectually as their regular education counterparts yet often perform more poorly academically than them. The study reached the conclusion that the poorer scores on the survey is an indication of a weaker level of perceived self-efficacy and that this psychological factor is indeed an influence on their academic performance. The study then went on to suggest strategies that the inclusive classroom can establish in order to enhance their self-efficacy which will ultimately enhance their academic performance to its appropriate level.
@InProceedings{NUGA2014DOE,
author = {Nuga, K.},
title = {DOES PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY INFLUENCE THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5538-5544}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Nuga
TI - DOES PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY INFLUENCE THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5538
EP - 5544
ER -
K. Nuga (2014) DOES PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY INFLUENCE THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 5538-5544.
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