Believe you can succeed in science
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'I think I can! I think I can!' -The well-known story of The Little Engine That Could, which overcame a seemingly impossible task, speaks to the role that motivation, confidence and belief play in our lives. This self-confidence in one's ability extends to performing science-related tasks and activities in the classroom. Researchers refer to this as a learner's 'science self-efficacy'. The strength of this belief has an impact on behaviour. Those who have higher levels are more likely to persevere in an activity until they succeed, no matter what the level of difficulty. Those who have low confidence in their science ability will believe that tasks are more difficult than they are. This belief might lead to stress and anxiety when facing tasks. Studies have shown that low confidence in science ability has a negative effect on academic achievement, and can, over time, create a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Dr Andrea Juan and Sylvia Hannan report.