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ERIC Number: EJ804121
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec-4
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Examination of Student Learning Approaches, Reflective Thinking, and Epistemological Beliefs: A Latent Variables Approach
Phan, Huy P.
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v4 n3 p577-610 Dec 2006
Introduction: The work of reflective thinking (Mezirow, 1991, 1998) and epistemological beliefs (Schommer, 1990, 1993; Schommer-Aikins, Duell & Hutter, 2005) is increasingly recognized as playing an important role in students' academic learning. Furthermore, students' approaches to their learning are also considered as contributing factors in the prediction of students' academic performance. Very few studies to date have combined these three theoretical frameworks within the one study. This article discusses two separate studies conducted over a 12-month period in mathematics and curriculum studies examining the relationships between students' epistemological beliefs, learning approaches, reflective thinking, and academic performance. Method: Study 1 examined first-year mathematics (N = 352: 152 females, 200 males) students' learning approaches--deep and surface--, the four stages of reflective thinking, and academic performance. Study 2 involved third-year curriculum studies (N = 332: 146 females, 185 males) students and used path analysis to show that deep learning approaches, epistemological beliefs, and reflective thinking predicted academic performance. Results: For Study 1, linear structural analysis indicated that a surface learning approach predicted habitual action, and a deep learning approach predicted understanding and critical reflection. Deep learning approach, habitual action, and critical reflection also predicted academic performance. Results for Study 2 indicated that deep learning approaches also predicted habitual action and reflection. Furthermore, epistemological beliefs influenced learning approaches as well as the four stages of reflective thinking. Discussion or Conclusion: The findings of the two studies are significant as they add theoretical contribution to the existing literature as well as provide practical implications for educators concerning the relations between epistemological beliefs, learning approaches, reflective thinking, and academic performance. (Contains 7 tables and 2 figures.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Study Process Questionnaire