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Coping with Failures at the Academic Level: A Multivariate Dynamic Model

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This article presents a dynamic multivariate macro model that describes inner processes of coping with failure to achieve overall academic goals. The model integrates three personal attitudes, (optimism, causal attribution, and self-efficacy) with the individual’s style of processing, and goal variables (level of importance of the goal, level of confidence in setting the goal, and level of perceived effort). These variables have been shaped over the course of the student’s learning history and have created a kind of superstructure with various degrees of strength that influence the way students process and cope with academic failures. High values for all variables (a strong structure) or low values for all variables (a weak structure) will not lead to any change in processing styles. Middling structures display gaps between the variables and create a need to achieve consistency and harmony and to change processing style. More research based on qualitative and quantitative methodology (questionnaires and the accumulation of case studies) are needed to validate the model. The proposed dynamic model can greatly benefit students that are academically at risk.
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Keywords: causal attribution; consistency; control; failures in learning; optimism-pessimism; self regulation; self-efficacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bar Ilan University

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Curriculum and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal publishing original research. It uses a balanced and comparative perspective to consider curriculum design and development, evaluation, curriculum models, comparative studies in curriculum, innovation and policy, planning, and educational administration.
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