ERIC Number: EJ746402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
Epistemological Understanding in Different Judgment Domains: Relationships with Gender, Grade Level, and Curriculum
Mason, Lucia; Boldrin, Angela; Zurlo, Giovanna
International Journal of Educational Research, v45 n1-2 p43-56 2006
This article reports a theoretically based study on the model of development of epistemological understanding proposed by Kuhn (2000) [Kuhn, D. (2000). Theory of mind, metacognition, and reasoning: A life-span perspective. In P. Mitchell & K. J. Riggs (Eds.), "Children's reasoning and the mind" (pp. 301-326). Hove, UK: Psychology Press], which includes three levels of thinking about knowledge and knowing: absolutist, multiplist, and evaluativist. The study involved 881 Italian elementary (5th grade), middle (8th grade) and high school students (11th and 13th grades). The latter attended two different branches of high school, one following a scientific, and the other a technical-commercial curriculum. Their epistemological understanding was assessed in the five judgement domains included in the instrument developed by Kuhn, Cheney, and Weinstock (2000) [Kuhn, D., Cheney, R., & Weinstock, M. (2000). The development of epistemological understanding. "Cognitive Development," 15, 309-328). Data show that more than 70% of identified patterns were consistent and interpretable within the underlying theoretical framework. Absolutist positions were more frequent in judgments about values even when the shift to non-absolutism was attained in all other domains. Gender, grade level, and curriculum significantly differentiated participants for the first developmental transition, from absolutism to multiplism. Overall, boys showed more absolutist positions than girls, 8th graders more than 13th graders, and participants in the scientific branch more than those in the technical-commercial one.
Descriptors: Metacognition, Cognitive Development, Epistemology, Curriculum, Thinking Skills, Foreign Countries, Value Judgment, Gender Differences, Age Differences, Student Attitudes, Elementary Education, Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 11; Grade 5; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy