I am what I am, Am I? The development of self-efficacy through work integrated learning
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An advantage of tertiary study is the learning of new theories and ideologies, which can give a new perspective on how one views the world and their place in it. However, a potential barrier to this growth can be students' own perceptions of themselves and their capabilities to deal with change and achieve results -known as 'self-efficacy'. While universities can be good at educating students about the theoretical foundations for their future careers, it is questionable to what extent universities help students to systematically develop their sense of self and their ability to cope with change. Work integrated learning (WIL) in higher education is one way to develop, amongst other things, students' self-efficacy. WIL is particularly useful to develop self-efficacy through mastery experiences, modelling, social persuasion and physiological states (Bandura 1977, 1982, 1986, 1997; Elliot and Dweck 1988; Harrison 2010; Schunk 1991). This study assesses self-efficacy in the context of a unique business degree during which students undertake an external off-campus internship during the 2nd and 3rd year of their degree while being supported by a continuous orientation program (known as the PDP). This paper builds upon prior research which provided preliminary evidence that an on-campus WIL orientation program undertaken in students' 1st year improved their self-efficacy. However, what have been the effects once students go off-campus and commence an internship whilst studying part-time? It will be argued that the internship combined with the continuous support of the PDP has allowed students to develop a greater sense of their capabilities to deal with challenges and thereby allow them to reach their full potential. This may result in students attaining a new sense of who they are and what their capabilities are - a new 'I'. It is with such an increased self-efficacy that students will be better placed to face the challenges of their future personal and professional lives.
The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum
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Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy