Beliefs and learned helplessness
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Beliefs and Learned Helplessness . Sam Johnson Taylor Bednarek . Discussion Question #1: . What do you think of when you hear the term learned helplessness? Can you give us an example from your personal experiences?. Epistemological Beliefs .

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Beliefs and Learned Helplessness

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Beliefs and learned helplessness

Beliefs and Learned Helplessness

Sam Johnson

Taylor Bednarek


Discussion question 1

Discussion Question #1:

What do you think of when you hear the term learned helplessness?

Can you give us an example from your personal experiences?


Epistemological beliefs

Epistemological Beliefs

  • Beliefs about structure, stability, certainty of knowledge, and how knowledge is best learned


Beliefs about ability

Beliefs About Ability

  • Entity View of Ability: belief that ability is a fixed characteristic that cannot be changed

  • Incremental View of Ability: Belief that ability is a set of skills that can be changed


Attribution theory

Attribution Theory

Descriptions of how individuals' explanations justifications, and excuses influence their motivation and behavior


Bernard weiner

Bernard Weiner

Main educational psychologist responsible for relating the attribution theory to school learning

  • Locus - location of the cause (internal or external)

  • Stability - the cause of the events is the same across time and environment

  • Controllability - whether the person can control the cause


Attributions in the classroom

Attributions in the Classroom

  • people with strong sense of self-efficacy for a given task tend to attribute their failures to lack of effort, misunderstanding directions, or just not studying enough

  • greatest motivational problems arise when students attribute failures to stable, uncontrollable causes


Learned helplessness

Learned Helplessness

  • the expectation, based on previous experiences with a lack of control, that all one’s efforts will lead to failure


Beliefs about self worth

Beliefs About Self Worth

  • Mastery Oriented: Students who focus on learning goals because they value achievement and see ability as improvable

  • Failure- Avoiding Students: Students who avoid failure by sticking to what they know, by not taking risks, or by claiming not to care about their performance

  • Failure- Accepting Students: Students who believe their failures are due to low ability and there is little they can do about it


Warning for future teachers

Warning for Future Teachers:

Self- Handicapping: Students may engage in behavior that blocks their own success in order to avoid testing their true ability

Teachers who stress performance, grades and competition can encourage self-handicapping without realizing they are doing so


Discussion question 2

Discussion Question #2:

What do can you do as a future educator to keep your students from developing negative beliefs about their own learning?


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