We have all heard ofself-esteemand we know more or less what this concept means. It should nevertheless be remembered that it corresponds tothe evaluative perception we have of ourselves,that is, how we value ourselves. But do we know what the concept of self is? And, more importantly, what is the relationship between it and academic performance?
Although self-concept and self-esteem are similar concepts, they should not be confused.This is the first maxim we must follow to understand how this psychological component affects a student's academic performance. In fact, this area of study is fundamental to improving our educational system and the way we educate the children of our society.
We can say thatthe concept of self is defined as the set of perceptions, ideas and thoughts that a concrete individual has about himself.In other words, it would be a fundamental part of the "self" or the idea that a person is self-made.
But then, what is the difference between self-concept and self-esteem? It's simple.While the concept of self describes the image we have of ourselves,without valuing it, self-esteem is precisely the subjective value we make of our personal characteristics.
The concept of self can also correspond torelationship building that a subject maintains with societyand its environment. In this way, the way we see ourselves will have a tremendous impact on how we act in different areas of our lives, and even in education.
According to the infant and juvenile psychologist Elisabet Rodríguez Camón, two works have changed the study of academic performance. One refers to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and the other is the bookEmotional intelligencefrom Daniel Goleman, where he talks about the importance of self-concept. In this article, we will see how these ideas apply to education.
What is academic achievement
A rather accepted definition of academic achievement is that it is thestudent's ability to learn and respond.However, to study this phenomenon, it is necessary to understand the different factors that affect it.
The elements on which academic performance depends are varied.Among them, we can highlight the student's abilities and motivation. There are other factors, however, that we must not put aside. For example, the capacity and quality of the teacher, the educational program to be followed by the student, the school center, his family and social environment …
One of the most important factors influencing a person's learning ability (and one of the least studied) is the concept of self.
Relationship between self-concept and academic performance
Several studies show that there is a deep connection between self-concept and academic performance.But how does the first act on the second? According to the latest experiments conducted on this subject, certain factors must be taken into account:
- The valuations made by those close to the student have a strong influence on the student's perception of himself as a student.
- A student's self-concept determines academic performance because at the qualitative and quantitative level, it will have repercussions on the perception of the child, on the level of the efforts that it must provide to learn something, the difficulty of the tasks which it has to face …
- Self-concept and academic achievement maintain a two-way relationship and influence each other.If one of the two components changes, the whole system changes until it reaches a new equilibrium.
"To educate is not to fill a bucket, but to light a fire."
-William Butler Yeats-
How to develop a good self-concept in students
After all these discoveries, it seems obvious thatDeveloping a good self-concept is vital for the student to achieve optimal academic performance.In fact, the latter will be vital in different facets of its growth and maturation. It is therefore important to take into account the following points:
- A sense of belonging to the family is basic. The student must observe and find in his circle of relationships, understanding, interest, affection and consideration, well-being, etc.
- It is also important that the child feels unique.He must feel special, but must also know what makes him different from others. It is essential that he remains humble and focused on what he needs to improve.
- The student must feel capable of achieving the proposed and established goals.In addition, he must know the factors involved in this process. This will lead him to learn for future experiences. For this, he must dominate self-control. The latter will allow him to better react to adversity.
- A safe, stable and consistent behavioral framework is needed in the child's life.This is where the acquisition of positive role models comes in to develop and reinforce the most important aspects for its success. This will also serve to modify unwanted behavior.
"Develop a passion to learn, and if you do that, you'll never stop growing."
Anthony J. D'Angelo
We hope this article will have convinced youthe importance of promoting a good concept of self in the child. This is extremely important for his academic performance.We are all involved in this work, be it the student himself, his family, the educators and the rest of the individuals in the society.