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ERIC Number: EJ827228
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
Defining Personal Epistemology: A Response to Hofer & Pintrich (1997) and Sandoval (2005)
Elby, Andrew
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v18 n1 p138-149 Jan 2009
Some researchers, including B. K. Hofer and P. R. Pintrich (1997) and W. A. Sandoval (2005), argue for defining "personal epistemology" as views about the nature of knowledge and knowing but not views about the nature of learning. Others continue using a more expansive definition of "personal epistemology" that includes views about learning. I argue that the scope of personal epistemology should not be decided entirely a priori. If people's views about the nature of knowing and knowledge turn out to be separable from (despite being intertwined with) their views about the nature of learning, then it makes sense to define 2 separate areas of study corresponding to those 2 separable sets of psychological constructs. From some theoretical perspectives, however, empirical results may support the interpretation that views about knowledge are inseparably entangled with views about learning. In that case, excluding views about learning from personal epistemology obscures rather than elucidates the content and cognitive structure of students' views. To be clear, I do not think the community should decide, now, to etch "views about the nature of learning" into the definition of "personal epistemology". I argue instead that it is more productive "not" to converge on a definition until further empirical and theoretical progress points us toward the best way to "cut up [nature]...along its natural joints" (Plato, 1995, p. 64). (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A