Influence of self-concept on academic performance.

Today, we have all heard about self-esteem and we have more or less clear the meaning of this concept. It corresponds to the evaluative perception of ourselves, that is, how we value ourselves. Now, do we know what self-concept is? And what is more important, what is the relationship between this and academic performance?


Although self-concept and self-esteem are similar concepts, we should not confuse them. This is the first maxim that we must respect to understand how this psychological component influences the academic performance of a student. In fact, this area of ​​study is fundamental to improving our educational system and the way we teach children in our society.

Therefore, we can say that self-concept can be defined as the set of perceptions, ideas and thoughts that a specific individual has of himself. That is, it would be a fundamental part of the "I" or the idea that a person has of who he is.

So, what is the difference between self-concept and self-esteem? While self-concept only describes the image we have of ourselves without evaluating it, self-esteem consists precisely in the subjective evaluation we make of our personal characteristics.

Another way of understanding self-concept is as a construction based on the relationships a subject maintains with society and its environment. In this way, the way we see ourselves will greatly influence how we act in different areas of our lives, including education.

In the opinion of the child and youth psychologist Elisabet Rodríguez Camón, two studies have changed the study of academic performance. One refers to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, and the other is the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, in which he talks about the importance of self-concept. In this article, we will see how these ideas apply to education.

What is academic performance?

A well-accepted definition of academic performance is understood as the student's ability to learn and respond. However, to study this phenomenon, it is necessary to understand the different factors that affect it.

The elements on which academic performance depends are varied. They emphasize the own abilities and motivation of the student. But there are other factors that we should not ignore. For example, the capacity and quality of the teacher, the educational program in which the student is immersed, the school, his family and the social environment ...

However, one of the factors that most influences a person's learning capacity (and one of the least studied) is self-concept.


Relationship between self-concept and academic performance

Several investigations show that there are strong relationships between self-concept and academic performance. Now, how does the first act act on the second? According to the latest experiments, we can highlight some factors:

  • The evaluations made by people close to and significant to the student greatly influence the way in which he perceives himself in his role as a student.

  • The self-concept of a student determines the academic achievement, since, qualitatively and quantitatively, it will affect the perception of the student in the effort he needs to invest to learn something new, in the difficulty of the tasks he faces ...

  • Self-concept and academic performance have a reciprocal relationship and influence each other. If one of the components is modified, the entire system changes until a new equilibrium is reached.

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire".
-William Butler Yeats-


How to develop a good self-concept in the student.

In light of these findings, it seems clear that developing a good self-concept is vital for a student to achieve optimal academic performance. In fact, it will be critical in many facets of its growth and maturity. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind the following:

  • The sense of belonging to the family is basic. The student must observe and find in their core of relationship, understanding, interest, affection and consideration, well-being, etc.

  • It is also important that the child feels unique. You must feel like someone special and irreplaceable, but you should know specifically what makes you different from others; Stay humble at all times and concentrate on what needs improvement.

  • The student must believe that he can reach the proposed and established objectives. In addition, you must know what factors are involved in a conquest that will lead you to learn for future experiences. For this, you must master your self-control, which will allow you to react better in the face of adversity.

  • A structure of safe, stable and consistent behavior in the child's life must be established. Here comes the acquisition of positive models that serve to stimulate and encourage the most important aspects for its success. This will also serve to modify unwanted behavior.

"Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never stop growing". -Anthony J. D'Angelo-

A good self-concept in children for their academic performance is the task, of all we are involved, from the student himself to his family, the educators and the rest of the individuals of the society.