ERIC Number: ED480195
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-May
Epistemological Differences among Community College Students with Varying Reasons for Attendance.
McLeod, Carol B.
Recent research has begun to suggest that epistemological beliefs of students develop to a more sophisticated level with age and education, while other preliminary studies have found that community college students tend to have more naive beliefs about learning and knowledge than do students attending four-year colleges and universities. The purpose of this study was to examine whether epistemological beliefs of community college students vary according to students' reasons for attendance, while controlling for the effects on beliefs of other relevant background and educational characteristics of students. The author used the survey approach, using a questionnaire that featured four dimensions of epistemological beliefs: (1) fixed ability; (2) quick learning; (3) simple knowledge; and (4) certain knowledge. The sample included 531 community college students enrolled in academic, vocational, and technical courses at comprehensive community colleges. Of the returned surveys, 509 of the 531 were used. About 67.7% of sample population were female, 70.53% were white, and 97.45% completed high school or the GED. Approximately 50.69% of respondents had academic majors, while 40.47% had vocational majors. The mean age was 27. Age was the most significant indicator of naive beliefs about fixed ability, with older students being less naive. Gender and GPA are also important indicators. Research instrument is appended. (Contains 11 tables and 89 references.) (NB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, University of New Orleans.