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Self Efficacy as a framework to engage the disengaged: Strategic Approaches 15 th March 2010 . (9.30 to 12.00). So what IS disengagement?. Dimensions of disengagement. Not in: education employment training. NEET. Manifestations of disengagement. Flight: Absent and disconnected:

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Self Efficacy as a framework to engage the disengaged: Strategic Approaches15th March 2010.(9.30 to 12.00)

dimensions of disengagement
Dimensions of disengagement

Not in:

  • education
  • employment
  • training


manifestations of disengagement
Manifestations of disengagement
  • Flight: Absent and disconnected:

- irregular, truancy, dropout

  • Fight: Present, but absent

- disruptive, destructive,

- behavioural problems

why disengagement
Why disengagement?
  • Impact of educational structure:Comprehensive vs. selective

2. Effect of inclusion and exclusion:

segregation may exacerbate disengagement.

3.Disengagement from ‘prescribed’ modes of career development:

boredom, distraction, disconnect from existing attitudes to work, unchallenged.

why disengagement6
Why disengagement?

4. Socio-economic and community factors

  • Home background and area of residence were seen as being key influences on disengagement.
  • For example, in the UK socio-economic status was seen as being a stronger predictor of achievement than early attainment.
  • In five of the countries, minority ethnic groups were noted as being over-represented in the disengaged group – this was evident in the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Spain and England.
why disengagement7
Why disengagement?
  • Family environment
  • parents do not value school.
  • condone non-attendance.
  • have low or too high expectations.
  • family events: such as bereavement, divorce, or new stepfamily, can also have an impact.
why disengagement8
Why disengagement?
  • Pupil factors
  • Lack of social skills.
  • Not attending school, for example, due to bullying.
  • Friends beyond school resulting in non-attendance and disengagement.
  • Influence from truanting peers.
  • Lack of academic ability.
  • Having special educational needs.
  • Substance misuse.
  • Previous negative experiences of school.
  • Students who have to repeat a school year or those who have to change from a higher to lower level of education.
why disengagement9
Why disengagement?

7. Curriculum factors

  • The perceived irrelevance of the curriculum to life.
  • Divisions between vocational and academic education resulting in pupils becoming ‘locked’ into courses inappropriate to meeting their learning needs.
  • Inappropriate exam and assessment procedures.
  • Reduced time for ‘pastoral’ provision because of the pressure to cover the prescribed curriculum.
  • Inappropriate teaching methods with schools focusing on curriculum and subject content rather than on learners.
why disengagement10
Why disengagement?

8. Influence of vocational education:

  • Vocational qualifications do not have parity of esteem with academic qualifications.
  • There is a danger of seeing vocational education as the ‘solution’ to disengagement.
  • Greater focus is required on person-centered approaches to employment rather than providing a vocational ‘alternative’.
“Established models, associated with

outcome-driven thinking based on lists of

personality traits and job factors, or ideas

based on linear development through

education to a lifetime career, may be useful

for some but are unlikely to engage all

young people.”

Reid, 2008.

social cognitive theory sct key concepts
Social Cognitive Theory (SCT): Key Concepts
  • Formulated by Albert Bandura in the 1980s as a refinement of his Social Learning Theory.
  • SCT analyses the diverse ways in which beliefs of personal efficacy operate within a network of socio-cultural and socio-economic influences, to shape life paths.
  • SCT concepts are structured around the central theme that people’s beliefs in their personal efficacy to manage life’s demands affect their psychological well-being, their accomplishments and the direction their lives take.
  • SCT has been gaining support as a framework for furthering our understanding of the career development process.
Self Efficacy





Outcome Expectations



...are particularly relevant to

understanding career development

social cognitive theory
Social Cognitive Theory

2. Outcome Expectations

1. Self Efficacy Beliefs

3. Goal Setting

Imagined outcome

Future orientation

Performance Accomplishments

Symbolically represent future outcomes

Vicarious Experience

Projected anticipation

Verbal Persuasion

social cognitive theory15
Social Cognitive Theory

Self-efficacy Beliefs:

  • Beliefs about one’s ability to be successful in the performance of a task
  • Self-referent thought influences behaviour
  • Quality of self efficacy beliefs influence whether:

- behaviour will be initiated

- how much energy will be expended

- maintenance of this behaviour in the face of


influences on self efficacy beliefs
Influences on self efficacy beliefs

Performance Accomplishments (Success Experiences)

  • Actual performance on a task.
  • Accomplishments that are success experiences move the individual closer to mastery experiences.
  • Success experiences of sub units of a task move the individual onto the unit and so on until the entire task is successfully performed.
  • A success experience contributes to self-efficacy only when the individual is able to attribute the reason for success to personal effort.

“I got one right... Now let me try the next.”

influences on self efficacy beliefs17
Influences on self efficacy beliefs

Vicarious Experience

  • Observation of a social role model
  • Promotes a similar belief in oneself and influences personal self-efficacy for that task
  • The more similar to oneself the more powerful is the vicarious experience
  • The greater the real or assumed similarity of the model to the observer, the powerful is the model’s success or failure on the observer’s self-efficacy
  • The failure of important role models causes a decline in self-efficacy for that task

“If she can do it... Maybe I can too.”

influences on self efficacy beliefs18
Influences on self efficacy beliefs

Verbal Persuasion

  • The nature of verbal persuasion for a task affects the quality of self-efficacy the person develops for that task
  • Encouragement from someone else that they possess the capabilities to be successful at a particular task
  • Repeated verbal feedback that questions a person’s capabilities could lead to:

- Avoidance of that activity

- Giving up in the face of barriers

- Weak engagement with the task

  • Undermines motivation and promotes disbelief in one's capabilities

“She told me I can do it... She believes in me.”

social cognitive theory19
Social Cognitive Theory

I tried and it worked!

Performance Accomplishments

If she can do it let me try...!

Vicarious Experience

to affect the quality of

Self Efficacy beliefs

interact reciprocally

She told me I can do it...!

Verbal Persuasion

social cognitive theory20
Social Cognitive Theory

2. Outcome Expectations

1. Self Efficacy Beliefs

3. Goal Setting

Imagined outcome

Future orientation

Performance Accomplishments

Symbolically represent future outcomes

Vicarious Experience

Projected anticipation

Verbal Persuasion

social cognitive theory21
Social Cognitive Theory

Outcome Expectations

  • Expectation that a certain consequence would result from a certain action
  • Estimation of the quality of the outcome
  • Are only imagined and notional outcomes
  • Particularly relevant in an environment where the linkage between effort and outcome are imperfect
  • A person may not invest effort in an activity for which she has a high potential, if the outcome expectation for that activity is negative
outcome expectations implications for career development
Outcome Expectations: Implications for career development
  • If outcome expected does not match projected anticipation or imagined outcome, may not engage with the process.
  • If a service or a scheme is not congruent with what the person thinks he/she deserves, may not value the scheme
  • Examples:

- going against the common belief

- scepticism

- loss of support from others if that action is taken

- loss of prestige

- gender incongruence

social cognitive theory23
Social Cognitive Theory

2. Outcome Expectations

1. Self Efficacy Beliefs

3. Goal Setting

Imagined outcome

Future orientation

Performance Accomplishments

Symbolically represent future outcomes

Vicarious Experience

Projected anticipation

Verbal Persuasion

social cognitive theory24
Social Cognitive Theory

Goal Setting

  • Capacity to symbolically represent and conceptualise future effects of present actions.
  • Engagement in an activity that has an effect in the future
  • Commitment to effecting a certain outcome
  • Determination to reach a target
  • Requires:

- ability to react in a self-evaluative manner to own behaviour

- internal standards of performance

  • Such goals play a self-regulatory function that calls for sustained action over a period of time
social cognitive theory impact and relevance
Social Cognitive Theory: Impact and Relevance
  • Merely believing does actually record success
  • Expectation alone will not produce the desired outcome
  • Must be mindful of the individual’s ability levels
social cognitive framework recognising risk for disengagement
Social cognitive framework: Recognising risk for disengagement

Performance Accomplishments

  • Are there opportunities for ‘small successes’?
  • Are there more failures than successes?

Vicarious Experience

  • What kind of role models are available?
  • Is there a close similarity between the role model and the young person?
social cognitive signs of risk for disengagement
Social cognitive signs of risk for disengagement

Verbal Persuasion

  • Cajoling, pleading, enticing?
  • Challenging?
  • Promoting expression of personal potentials?
  • Reward oriented or promotion of self-mediation?

Outcome Expectations

  • Is there a perception that the service or scheme is congruent with what the person thinks he/she deserves?
  • Is outcome expectation self-mediated? Or system-dependant?
social cognitive signs of risk for disengagement28
Social cognitive signs of risk for disengagement

Goal Setting and Planning

  • Is there an orientation to how actions of the present affect outcomes in the future?
  • Is future orientation affected by difficulties of the present?
  • Is there an orientation to ‘starting small’ or ‘making it big’?
Tackling disengagement



  • strengthen transition stages.
  • bridge gap between
  • vocational and academic
  • education.
  • promote self-efficacy.
  • strenghten self-mediation.
  • realistic goal setting.
  • promote future orienation.
  • focused on routes.
  • back into learning.
  • enabling appropriate
  • targeting of resources.
  • evaluation of initiatives.
Outcomes of a study on the promotion

of self-efficacy for career development

Almost eight months after Time 3 of this study, a young man visited the

researcher. Full of confidence he walked into the researcher’s office

and said that he had attended a six month course on screen printing

and now had a regular job.

Then, rather shyly he said had something to give the researcher. He

drew a soiled envelope from his pocket and said “I received my first

salary today. I want you to use this to help someone else in the way

you helped me.” Inside the envelope was a fifty rupee note. A large

sum of money for a boy from his background.

Moved, but curious I asked him which of the intervention groups he had

belonged to. The boy looked up and said, “The group where we learned to

think differently.”

theory to practice
Theory to Practice
  • Group 1: Performance accomplishment and career


  • Group 2: Vicarious experience and career development
  • Group 3: Verbal persuasion and career development
  • Group 4: Outcome expectations and career development
  • Group 5: Goal setting and career development

30 minutes for small group discussions

30 minutes for short presentation.

  • Kendall, S. and Kinder, K. (2005). Reclaiming Those Disengaged from Education and Learning: a European Perspective. Slough: NFER. (Austria, England, Belgium Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Wales).
  • Enhancing career development: The role of community-based career guidance for disengaged adults (2005) National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
  • Helena Kasurinen and Mika Launikari (2009) Career Guidance for Youth-at-risk in Finland
  • It’s Crunch Time: Raising youth engagement and attainment (2007)

Australian Industry Group.