ERIC Number: ED452206
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Epistemological Beliefs of Teacher Credential Students.
Roberts, William L.; Busk, Patricia L.; Comerford, Sandra S.
The epistemological beliefs of teacher-credential students were studied to determine if their beliefs change in sophistication after a semester of training. Also studied was the extent of the relationship between academic and home background variables and epistemological beliefs. A convenience sample of 52 white females in their fifth year of college education provided data for the study. A pretest and posttest design was used. The dependent variable was measured by a linear-composite score computed from the 34-item version of M. Schommer's (1990) Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire. A simple demographic survey and a writing task were included with the questionnaire during the posttest. Findings indicate that the distribution of epistemological beliefs obtained from teacher-credential students is about the same as that obtained from undergraduate teacher majors and junior college faculty. Change to greater levels of epistemological beliefs sophistication was found from pretest to posttest. Individuals with prior teaching experience obtained greater levels of sophistication than individuals with no prior teaching experience. No statistical difference was found between individuals holding different undergraduate majors or from different undergraduate institutions. Correlation coefficients indicated important relationships between home background and the epistemological beliefs of individuals. The writing task provided additional information on the beliefs of individuals about teaching and learning prompted by a teaching scenario that could not be yielded from a questionnaire with a structured format. Based on the results of this study, it is concluded that the epistemological beliefs of individuals change to greater sophistication over a semester of training as the result of increased personal reflection on teaching and learning and obtained teaching experience. An appendix contains the raw score conversion table for the 34-item questionnaire which is included. (Contains 4 figures, 14 tables, and 34 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, February 1-3, 2001).