I Am What I Am, Am I? The Development of Self-efficacy through Work Integrated Learning

By Brett Freudenberg, Mark Brimble, Craig Cameron, Kirsten MacDonald and Dianne English.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An advantage of tertiary study is the learning of new theories and ideologies, which can give a new perspective on how one views the world and their place in it. However, a potential barrier to this growth can be students’ own perceptions of themselves and their capabilities to deal with change and achieve results –known as ‘self-efficacy’. While universities can be good at educating students about the theoretical foundations for their future careers, it is questionable to what extent universities help students to systematically develop their sense of self and their ability to cope with change. Work integrated learning (WIL) in higher education is one way to develop, amongst other things, students’ self-efficacy. WIL is particularly useful to develop self-efficacy through mastery experiences, modelling, social persuasion and physiological states (Bandura 1977, 1982, 1986, 1997; Elliot and Dweck 1988; Harrison 2010; Schunk 1991). This study assesses self-efficacy in the context of a unique business degree during which students undertake an external off-campus internship during the 2nd and 3rd year of their degree while being supported by a continuous orientation program (known as the PDP). This paper builds upon prior research which provided preliminary evidence that an on-campus WIL orientation program undertaken in students’ 1st year improved their self-efficacy. However, what have been the effects once students go off-campus and commence an internship whilst studying part-time? It will be argued that the internship combined with the continuous support of the PDP has allowed students to develop a greater sense of their capabilities to deal with challenges and thereby allow them to reach their full potential. This may result in students attaining a new sense of who they are and what their capabilities are – a new ‘I’. It is with such an increased self-efficacy that students will be better placed to face the challenges of their future personal and professional lives.

Keywords: Self-efficacy, Work Integrated Learning, Motivation, Learning, Business, Accounting

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.177-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 549.802KB).

Dr. Brett Freudenberg

Associate Professor of Taxation, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Queensland, Australia

Brett Freudenberg is a currently an associate professor at the Griffith Business School within the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics at Griffith University (Australia). In addition to his taxation teaching, he was awared his PhD, which subsequently was published as a book: Tax Flow Companies (CCH). In 2006 he received a Fulbright Award, which saw him conduct research at the University of Illinois to analyse the proliferation of new business forms in the United States and their potential for application to Australian businesses. He has received a number of teaching accolades including a teaching citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for his outstanding contributions to student learning. He was part of a team that was awarded a national teaching citation for the PD Program. In 2005 he was jointly awarded a Griffith Business School Teaching Citation and in 2003 received the Early Career Award for Teaching Excellence from Griffith University. He has pursued the scholarship of learning and has presented his research at number of teaching conferences as well as publishing in refereed teaching journals. Prior to commencing at Griffith University, he was a senior taxation consultant with KPMG and a solicitor with Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Assoc. Prof. Mark Brimble

Associate Professor, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Mark Brimble is an associate professor of finance in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics in Griffith Business School. He has a PhD in capital markets and has active research interests in financial markets, sustainable finance, personal finance and finance education, with publications in various national and international journals including Accounting and Finance, Corporate Governance: An International Perspective, The Griffith Law Review, The International Journal of Learning, and Higher Education Research and Development. He has experience in teaching and learning leadership roles, with seven years as the program director of a Bachelor of Commerce program, and numerous teaching and learning grants, citations and awards including being part of the team that won the 2010 Business and Higher Education Round Table award for the best higher education and training collaboration. He is also the foundation director of the Centre for Financial Independence and Education, which engages in community programs on financial capability / literacy. He is also a CPA, a fellow of the Finsia, and a foundation member of the Financial Planning Association’s Future Financial Planners Council.

Craig Cameron

Lectuer, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia

Kirsten MacDonald

Lecturer, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia

Dianne English

Lecturer, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia