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Self-efficacy beliefs among students with and without a migration background: Different forms of acquisition, teachers' judgement accuracy and their impact on academic achievement

This study focuses on self-efficacy beliefs that are of enormous importance for the improvement of both the acquisition of competences and the participation in educational settings among students with a migration background. Being an individual trait of students, it is also affected by social and institutional variables (Bandura, 1986). The central aim of the project is to reveal the mechanisms leading to an improvement of educational opportunities especially for students with a migration background, focusing on self-efficacy beliefs as a relevant dimension of educational and learning processes. Self-efficacy beliefs are defined as the subjective certainty that one has the abilities to successfully work on and to fulfill new or difficult tasks. Subject-specific self-efficacy beliefs are a relevant predictor of academic achievement (e.g., Mittag, Kleine & Jerusalem, 2001; Pajares & Urdan, 2006).

In the context of this project, students with and without a migration background from different types of German secondary schools (low track and high track) are tested within a multilevel control group design for at least two times. The study is divided into two different subprojects, one being associated to IPN (Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel), the other administered by IFS (Institute for School Development Research) at the Technical University, Dortmund.

The research activity at IPN focuses on the judgement accuracy of teachers concerning the self-efficacy beliefs of their students. The outcome of this research is expected to provide information about the teachers' capacities in evaluating motivational traits like self-efficacy beliefs. Moreover, the importance of the accuracy of their judgment regarding the design of their instruction and its impact on the students' self-efficacy beliefs and educational success are analyzed.
The IFS-based subproject mainly investigates the differential forms of acquisition of self-efficacy beliefs, leading to a better understanding of the sources, the combinations and the different levels of self-efficacy beliefs among the examined groups of students. Another key aspect is to analyze the potentially differential predictive significance of self-efficacy beliefs in respect of motivational traits and academic achievement in students with and without a migration background.

Sponsored by:

Prof. Dr. Olaf Köller
Christian Schöber

Cooperation Partners (IFS, TU Dortmund):
Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bos