The Relations Between Scientific Epistemological Beliefs and Approaches to Learning Science Among Science-Major Undergraduates in Taiwan
Jyh-chong Liang | Min-hsien Lee | Chin-chung Tsai
Discipline: Education, Philosophy
Previous studies have shown significant associations between students' epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning. By extending the findings of these studies, the present study aimed to investigate the relations between science-major undergraduate students' scientific epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning science. The participants were 315 undergraduate students majoring in science-related departments in Taiwan. All of them responded to the Scientific Epistemological Beliefs survey (Conley, Pintrich, Vekiri, & Harrison, 2004) and the Approaches to Learning Science questionnaire (Lee, Johanson, & Tsai, 2008). The path analysis results achieved with the structural equation modeling technique indicated some significant relations between scientific epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning science. A surface strategy for learning science was found to be negatively predicted by the maturation of beliefs about the source and certainty of scientific knowledge. Beliefs about justification of scientific knowledge appear to positively contribute to deep strategies. Moreover, the results reveal that a deep motive for learning science could be positively affected by beliefs about the development and justification of scientific knowledge. In particular, beliefs about justification of scientific knowledge appear to have positive effects on mixed motives for learning science. Some of the findings are interpreted through a socio-cultural lens.