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Self-efficacy is a popular construct among researchers interested in student learning and performance. It has been used successfully to explain and predict a variety of cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes in diverse academic settings. Evidence has accumulated that unanimously points to the functional advantage of having strong self-efficacy beliefs. While so much has been documented on this important construct during the past several decades, it is our judgment that the time has come to reflect on past research findings and revisit some of the unresolved issues that have held up further development in academic self-efficacy research. In this chapter, we summarize existing research on self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings and suggest directions for future research in this area. Specifically, we present a brief overview of self-efficacy theory, along with relevant empirical findings, paying particular attention to the development of self-efficacy beliefs and their relationships with academic outcomes and other motivation constructs. We then turn to unresolved issues in self-efficacy theory and research, such as the growth trajectories of self-efficacy beliefs across time and academic domains, the benefits of modeling, and cross-cultural issues.
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