ERIC Number: ED442483
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-25
Epistemological Beliefs of Community-College Students.
Comerford, Sandra Stefani; Busk, Patricia L.; Roberts, William L.
To date, no studies have focused solely on community college students' epistemological beliefs and the courses students pursue. The purpose of this study was to determine if a semester-long community-college course designed to increase critical thinking skills could help students attain more sophisticated levels of epistemological beliefs. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine the relation between teachers' epistemological beliefs and the resulting epistemological beliefs of their students. The results did not support the research questions. Neither the course nor the teachers' level of epistemological beliefs was found to relate to students' epistemology. These implications help identify classroom practices that increase student success in college. One possible way for instructors to identify effective classroom practices is to link their teaching goals to classroom assessment. Also effective for instructors interested in increasing students' epistemological beliefs is the importance of instructor feedback to students. In addition, instructors can construct tests and assignments that foster integration of knowledge. Specific discussions and written self-reflections about epistemology among teachers and students can, at the very least, make students aware of their beliefs. Teachers also need to be aware of the forces impeding higher-order thinking skills, evaluation and integration of knowledge, pressures such as grades and coverage of course materials. (Contains 25 references.) (VWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).