The Centre for Confidence in Glasgow promotes high aspirations and confidence in young people living in areas of high deprivation. At a conference in March 2010, Dr Carol Craig, Director of the Centre, gave a presentation on the pitfalls of trying to promote self-esteem in the wrong way and the advantages of encouraging self-efficacy.
Common definitions of self-esteem relate to the emotional judgments people make about their worth as an individual, irrespective of their achievements or social position. Advocates claim that boosting self-esteem will have strongly a beneficial effect on things such as: academic performance, bullying and violence, drug/alcohol consumption, unemployment, mental health.... However recent research in the United States and the UK has shown that attempting to boost self-esteem does not improve academic achievement and can reduce young people's resilience, mental well-being and life skills. Focusing on self-esteem can easily encourage young people to believe that the most important thing in life is how they feel about themselves. But as Professor Albert Bandura said: "Ordinary realities are strewm with impediments, adversities, setbacks, frustrations and inequities. People must, therefore, have a robust sense of efficacy to sustain the perseverant effort needed to succeed".
A good way to improve self-efficacy is by using Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset in the classroom, as many EAZ schools are now doing. See "Carol Dweck's Self-Theories" in the drop down menu.
Click on the link below to see a PowerPoint of Carol Craig's recent presentation.