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Measuring and manipulating epistemological beliefs in early childhood education students

Stacey, Phillip S., Brownlee, Joanne M., Thorpe, Karen J., & Reeves, Drew (2005) Measuring and manipulating epistemological beliefs in early childhood education students. In International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, University of Southern Queensland, Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, pp. 6-17.

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Abstract

Engendering sophisticated epistemological beliefs (beliefs about knowing and learning) in student teachers is a critical function of higher education. We report the preliminary results of a collaborative teaching unit and study examining the development of epistemological beliefs among early childhood pre-service teachers (N = 65). The program was unique in that it promoted sophisticated beliefs through explicit reflection on both personal epistemology and content related to research methods. Explicit reflection on the nature of beliefs about knowing and learning has been shown to impact on the development of students’ personal epistemology. In this study, such reflection took place through tutorial discussions, practicum reflections and students interviewing critical friends about epistemological beliefs. Personal epistemology was also developed through a focus on research methods as the content of the course, which provided students with a first-hand experience of using evidenced-based knowledge – a key component of sophisticated personal epistemologies. Students were both the subject of, and joint researchers in the study. The program taught, and the study utilized, quantitative and qualitative research methods. Changes in epistemological beliefs were assessed pre- and post-test using Schommer’s epistemological questionnaire. The results demonstrate the utility of explicit reflection and genuine experience in research pedagogy in developing sophisticated epistemological beliefs.

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ID Code: 2125
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: Class EAB016
Keywords: HERN
ISSN: 1833-4105
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2005
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 14:55

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