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Verbal teacher praise and feedback: influencing students’ self-concept and self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics classrooms

Written by: Sarah Hopkinson
7 min read
Sarah Hopkinson, Secondary mathematics teacher, UK; MSc student, University of Oxford, UK  Self-concept and self-efficacy, referred to in this study as self-beliefs, hold positively correlating relationships with mathematics achievement (Cvencek et al., 2018; Burns et al., 2020); therefore, low self-beliefs can hinder students’ learning (Bong and Skaalvik, 2003). Currently within The Academy, the inner London secondary school setting of this study, there are two ‘nurture’ classes in each year group, who are the lowest-attaining students. These classes are composed primarily, if not wholly, of students with extremely low self-beliefs, who believe that they cannot be successful and who regularly claim that they cannot complete tasks before attempting them, and thus choose not to participate. This study focuses on the two Year 10 ‘nurture’ classes.  What are self-concept and self-efficacy? Self-concept is a student’s perception of their attainment level, primarily formed

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