22 SES 05 C PS, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
The term ‘’epistemogolical beliefs’’ refers to persons’ beliefs about the nature of human knowledge and learning. Previous reserach suggests that epistemological beliefs are organised in multidimensional systems which can affect behaviour and learning. Studies involving various measures of academic achievement suggest that these beliefs can affect the way in which information is interpreted, the written text comprehension, monitoring one's own comprehension, making efforts to carry out difficult tasks and maintaining a global positive attitude towards school. Epistemological beliefs do not represent unchangeable characteristics of an individual. Shaped by maturation and education, these beliefs change over time. But different dimensions do not have to develope in a synchronised manner.
This research is positioned within the theoretical framework emphasizing multi-dimensional nature of epistemological beliefs. This approach implies the existence of three basic dimensions of epistemological beliefs: 1) the nature of knowledge, 2) certainty of knowledge and 3) origin of knowledge. These dimensions are conceptualized as continuous, ranging from ‘naïve’ towards ‘sophisticated’ beliefs. For example, naïve epistemological beliefs represent a system of relatively independent cognitions: a belief in the absolute certainty of knowledge; a belief that knowledge is organised in isolated parts; a belief that knowledge is taught by the authority (and that it is not acquired by a learner); a belief in a fixed and unchangeable ability to learn; and a belief that one learns quickly or does not learn at all. These beliefs reflect an initial stage of the development of personal epistemology and are considered to be related to poor learning and achievement. In order to examine the system of epistemological beliefs Schommer designed a questionnaire assessingfour epistemological criteria: 1) changeability of the learning ability; 2) structure of knowledge; 3) speed of learning; and 4) stability of knowledge (Schommer, 1990).
The empirical findings presented in this paper have been obtained by investigating epistemological beliefs of university students within a more extensive research focussed on different components in the learning process (approaches to learning and self-regulation indicators). The latent structure of epistemological among students of University of Belgrade was examined in the previous research (Ćirović & Mirkov, 2014). It was then established that four second order latent dimensions can account for 53% of variance in epistemological beliefs of university students. These dimensions are: 1) Avoidance of integration, avoidance of ambiguity and dependence on authority; 2) The belief that one cannot learn how to learn and that success in learning is unrelated to hard work; 3) The belief that learning ability is innate and that learning is quick; 4) The belief in absolutely secure and unquestionable nature of knowledge.
The aim of the present research is to determine whether epistemological belifes among university students change during the course of their studies and whether these beliefs are related to academic achievement. The research questions were as follows: 1. Are there differences in epistemological beliefs among students in different years of studies? 2. Are epistemological beliefs related to students' ages? 3. Are students' epistemological beliefs related to their academic achievement (average grade point and the number of passed exams)?
Ćirović, I., & Mirkov, S. (2014). Latent structure of epistemological beliefs of college students. VII scientific conference ,,Educational research and school practice’’, Belgrade, 17th October 2014. Hofer, K. B. (2005) The Legacy and the Challenges: Paul Pintrich's Contributions to Personal Epistemology Research. Educational Psychologist, 40 (2), 95-105. Mirkov, S. (2013) Learning - why and how: Approaches in studying the factors that affect learning. Belgrade: Institute for Educational Research. (in Serbian) Schommer, M. (1990). Effects of Beliefs About the Nature of Knowledge on Comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 82, No. 3, pp. 498-504. Schommer, M. (1998). The influence of age and education on epistemological Beliefs. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 68, 551-562. Schommer, M., Crouse, A., & Rhodes, N. (1992). Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 435-443. Schraw, G. (2013). Conceptual Integration and Measurement of Epistemological and Ontological Beliefs in Educational Research. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, ISRN Education, Vol. 2013. Article ID. 327680. Retrieved from the World Wide Web http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/327680 Simić, N., Savanović, Lj. & Jokić, T. (2012). Relationship between epistemological beliefs and motivational orientation among high school students. Psihologija, 45(4), 451-465.
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