Changing the epistemic beliefs of undergraduates through inquiries in the classroom

Ryota Nomura, Shun-Ichi Maruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In previous studies, theorists proposed that students' beliefs about the nature of formal and working knowledge can be changed in accordance with the view of classes. The newer view emerges through learning activities. The 2 instructions in the present research were designed to use inquiries in order to foster a constructivist's view of classes. In Study 1, the participants were university students (N=70; 8 males, 62 females) in an introductory psychology class. The teacher had the students ask their own questions and discuss the lesson contents; the teacher provided feedback in the next lecture. The results indicated that approximately two-thirds of the students came to believe that formal knowledge was more objectively justified or that working knowledge was more contextual and applicable, whereas the remaining students came to believe that the nature of all knowledge was lower. In Study 2, the participants were also university students (N=37; 4 males, 33 females) in an introductory psychology class. In addition to the procedures used in Study 1, the teacher instructed the students to focus on the value of questioning as one way to find diversified meanings of knowledge and as an origin of knowing new things. The results suggested that the students came to believe that formal knowledge was more objectively justified or that working knowledge was more applicable. These results imply that the "pleasure" that comes from knowing other points of view is a key for opening the door leading to an amicable settlement of the conflict between the existing and newer views of classes. However, the intervention effect of a single class was limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalJapanese Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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