The match matters: Examining student epistemic preferences in relation to epistemic beliefs about chemistry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Student epistemic preferences have been found to be important in student learning and achievement. The present study proposed a new conceptualization of student epistemic preferences in the epistemic match model, assessed the match between student epistemic beliefs about chemistry and their epistemic preferences, and, most importantly, examined how this epistemic match may be associated with chemistry course achievement. We adopted latent class analysis and found three distinct profiles of epistemic preferences based on the dimensions of simple and certain knowledge, attainable truth, and alternative knowledge claims. Students in Latent Class 3 ( Moderate Preferences) demonstrated the closest match between chemistry epistemic beliefs and epistemic preferences, and had more students who obtained higher grades and fewer students who had lower grades in an introductory chemistry course compared to the other two classes. Students in Latent Classes 1 ( All Preferred) and 2 ( Alternative-Claim Disliked), however, demonstrated certain degrees of epistemic mismatch between chemistry epistemic beliefs and epistemic preferences, and had noticeably lower achievement in the chemistry course. The study findings highlight the importance of achieving a close match between epistemic beliefs and epistemic preferences for higher achievement in a subject domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-274
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Epistemic beliefs
  • Epistemic preferences
  • Epistemology
  • Latent class analysis
  • Student preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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