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ERIC Number: EJ1134203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
Finding Place in Higher Education: An Epistemological Analysis
Crooks, Shelagh M.
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v8 n1 Article 2 2017
Though the topic of student transition into the culture and practices of higher education has been the subject of considerable investigation by scholars, the transition literature has been largely silent on the epistemological challenges that new students face in the context of the university classroom. The purpose of this paper is to look at student transition from this unique perspective. The paper reviews recent empirical research in the area of "personal epistemology," which establishes the facts regarding what students actually believe about knowledge and knowing as they enter university. The paper also provides an analysis of the epistemological beliefs of university teachers, and the influence that these beliefs have on the teachers' educational practice. A key issue discussed here is the conflict between students' conception of knowledge (as certain and possessed by authorities) and their teachers' conception of knowledge (as something constructed through a process of evidential inquiry). Finally, the impact of this epistemological conflict on students' ability to make sense out of, and find their place in, the new and different learning environment of the university is considered.
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A