HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 18 no. 1 (2009)

Revisiting the Relationships of Epistemological Beliefs and Conceptions about Teaching and Learning of Pre-Service Teachers in Hong Kong

Angel Kit-yi Wong | Kwok-wai Chan | Po-yin Lai

Discipline: Education, Learning



Epistemological beliefs and conceptions about teaching and learning have been assumed to be associated as both are concerned with knowledge. To ascertain whether and how the two constructs are related, a survey study was conducted with 604 pre-service teacher education students enrolled in the BEd programs of a university in Hong Kong. In terms of their epistemological beliefs, the sampled students tended to believe that knowledge is constructed during the learning process as a result of effort, that knowledge is not handed down by authority figures or limited by innate ability, and that knowledge is tentative and changing. In terms of their conceptions of teaching and learning, the students tended to agree more with constructivist than with traditional conceptions. Structural equation modeling showed that significant relations existed between epistemological beliefs and conceptions about teaching and learning held by the pre-service teacher education students. Constructivist and traditional conceptions of teaching and learning are related to epistemological beliefs in different but logical ways. The results are discussed in terms of the Chinese cultural context and implications for teacher education are drawn from the results.