What is self efficacy?
Self efficacy is basically how efficient we think we are. In other words, how confident are we that we are likely to be successful. Or at the very least, how confident are we that we are doing the best we can for our circumstances. It is a psychology term and has been widely studied in terms of education. Studies clearly indicate a correlation between how successful teachers think they will be (self efficacy) and how successful their students then are. There are also studies that show children who's parents have higher expectations of success academically do, in fact, achieve higher academic success.
I didn't know that there was a term for all of this, although I probably shouldn't be surprised that there is. It is, however, something I am very passionate about. I have seen many friends struggle with their own confidence in their decisions, and I have certainly struggled with it myself. So much is written about "Mommy Wars" and I believe there is a component of cyber bullying and online information overload that makes it very difficult for moms to have confidence in their choices as parents. In the click of a mouse we can find families with good and bad stories for all of the options we are weighing. We can find good and bad studies supporting our options. Our parental village has exploded and it has ruined our confidence as moms.
As I recently mentioned, I am beginning work on my Masters of Education, Instructional Design. One of the hallmarks of my program is 18-24 months of work designing instruction for a specific group of learners. Over the past 5 years of writing this blog, and before that professionally, I have become a person that parents contact with questions. I'm not really sure how that happened, and in all honesty I don't know exactly how I feel about it, but it seems only natural that parent education seems to be the niche that I have carved out for myself. I no longer see myself working in a classroom, but I do see myself continuing to work with parents.
I am not, however, currently working in an environment that gives me access to a group of parent learners in a more formal setting.
That is where you come in.
This is a broad open invitation to explore issues that face families today, particularly as they relate to our perceived and actual effectiveness as moms. Participation will be through a private blog or yahoo group. I will seek input from the group and do a little more research before making a decision about which will be best. Throughout the next 18-24 months, you will have access to a community of moms for discussion, along with videos (done by me), and family activities. You will be asked to self evaluate and reflect on both your experiences with the activities and your general experience as a mom. Specific topics will vary as required by my program.
At this point, I am looking for a group of moms (as many as willing, no lifestyle requirements such as homeschooling/working parent/single mom*, no minimum/maximum number or age of children) who simply wish to have more information on participating. I will be taking emails for about the next week and will then give more details for those families to decide their level of participation. I encourage you if you are simply curious to at least send this first email to learn more!
To participate, please email WorkPlayRead(at)gmail(dot)com with something referencing Parent Learner Group in the subject line. That will add you to the first mailing list set to go out the first week of June, providing more information about the project specific to participants.
Thanks so much for your help and I will look forward to continuing to share both my school and parenting adventures in this blog space throughout my program!
*This group will not promote one lifestyle or ideal, rather focus on empowering moms to feel confident in whatever choices they make for their family and supporting one another accordingly.