Exploring the Relationship between Students’ Epistemological Beliefs about Science and their Approaches to Learning Science

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Zulfiqar Ali Shah
Farkhunda Rasheed Choudhary

Abstract

Students’ approaches to the learning process, their learning style, cognitive style, learning preferences, and beliefs about knowledge had been the main focus of empirical research for many years. A quantitative survey was carried out to explore their epistemological beliefs about science and their learning approaches towards science. Moreover, the correlation between these two variables at secondary level science classroom in Chitral, Pakistan was determined. The population of the current study consisted of 59293 students from both genders studying in various public sector schools in Chitral district.  Secondary school science students served as the population for this research, while 379 students were randomly selected as sample. Approaches to Learning Questionnaire (ALQ) and Students Epistemic Beliefs (SEB) questionnaire were adapted and administered for data collection. The findings showed that students employed both surface and deep approaches for science learning at secondary level. Similarly, they possessed mixed epistemological beliefs. Significant correlation was also found between some categories of students’ epistemological beliefs and learning approaches. The current study also discussed the implications of the above findings for teaching and learning activities in the classroom, teacher education institutions, and other stakeholders. Specific recommendations with regards to the nature and assessment of learning were also proposed for classroom practices.


Keywords: deep learning, epistemological beliefs, learning approaches, surface learning

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Author Biography

Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Science Teacher, Chitral, Pakistan

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