ACE Reading

What is Self Modeling?

In self modeling, individuals learn by observing their own success—even from successes that have not yet occurred (Dowrick, 1999). And by observing oneself, self-efficacy is improved. That is, you can boost self-confidence of the students as well as teaching them new skills. Students begin to believe that reading, or whatever skill you choose to teach using this technique, is learnable—not just something “other children do” (Bandura, 1997). Therefore, it is very important to show only adaptive behaviors on video, without presenting any mistakes or inadequacies, which will add to the students’ disbelief in themselves and can promote errors.

There are two types of self modeling commonly used for teaching skills: feedforward and positive self-review. Feedforward, contrasting with feedback, shows images of potential future performance—that is, students see themselves being successful at tasks that are normally too challenging. This effect is achieved through careful planning and editing of component skills that are prompted or supported by a coach, as with reading short phrases from a book. This helps the students to set higher goals and to develop a desire for improvement.

Positive self-review tapes do not create new images so much as capture the best of current abilities. These positive images can help students to become more consistent in the mastery of new skills, both to maintain and to generalize the effects. Teachers who make or observe the self modeling videos often raise their expectations of their students, which in turn benefits the students’ potential for success, through the Pygmalion effect.

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