Marilyn Dyck Celebrates Dr. Albert Bandura

This month our radios and newspapers are marking the passing of Dr. Albert Bandura, born in Alberta, and finished his 95 years in California, where most of his research was carried out. He has been recognized internationally as one of the most important social scientists in history. He transformed Psychology, his own field of study.

It was the development of Dr. Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy and his work on the role of people’s beliefs in shaping their behavior that challenged status quo to the core. His social learning theory of how humans function emphasized people’s capacity for self-reflection and personal agency.

Dr. Bandura opened a wide door for people to understand that self-efficacy is the essence of every human being. His research showed that a strategy or way of thinking that makes people believe they need others to tell them how and what to do and think is debilitating to the exercise of their own personal power.

Young people and children in our society traditionally have been seen as incapable apart from adult presence and advice in their lives. Generations have been socialized to believe that power resides in adulthood, and that power requires submission.

Dr. Bandura wrote 600 pages to record his thinking and learning. The book he titled Self-Efficacy, The Exercise of Control. He shows how his work supported the validity of self-efficacy, freeing anyone who would listen – to believe in themselves and their capabilities. His quote: “Efficacy belief therefore, is a major basis of action.”

The Doorway is indebted in solidarity to the social wisdom of Dr. Bandura. In the 90’s his thinking gave us the word self efficacy, for the process we offered young people. We offered self-determination to young people from the day we opened our doors, but no-one believed in our process except the young people who were using it to take charge of their lives.  We have witnessed, as his research shows, that social learning is the way children and young people become who they are.

Young people repeatedly thank The Doorway for the opportunity to use their self-efficacy to understand and plan their steps to make the change they seek. We continue to believe that this core to The Doorway Approach is the fundamental component of the success young people identify as their own.

Because of Dr. Bandura, adults in society can accept the significance of supporting young people using their own efficacy to build their lives. They are their own subject experts. Adults have much to offer them still, but that help is not power based, but facilitates self-efficacy.

– Marilyn Dyck (M.D.)

Dr. Bandura quotes:

“Perceived self-efficacy refers to beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments.”

“People guide their lives by their beliefs of personal efficacy.”

1 Comment

  • Brenda
    Posted August 14, 2021 7:55 am 0Likes

    Thank you Marilyn. I did not know Dr Bandura was an Albertan but he definitely influenced the course of my education.

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