A closer look at elementary school students’ epistemic beliefs: Latent profiles capturing concepts of knowledge and knowing in science

Julia Schiefer, Andrea Bernholt, Nele Kampa

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

Epistemic beliefs (EBs) are a key issue in educational research and are relevant for students' learning from as early as elementary school. To quantitatively measure EBs in the domain of science, researchers commonly utilize self-report questionnaires that capture the dimensions of source, certainty, development, and justification of knowledge. Going beyond analyzing these measures of EBs from a variable-centered perspective, recent research has focused on a person-centered approach, for example, on latent profile analysis. By applying this approach, we investigated the number and characteristics of science EB profiles among 680 third- and fourth-grade students—a neglected age group in this line of research. We identified three profiles that showed level and shape differences in their science-related EBs: relatively absolutistic/static, absolutistic/evidence-based, and sophisticated. Moreover, these profiles differed considerably in their scientific inquiry competencies, motivational dispositions, and social background. We discuss implications for the development and promotion of elementary school students' science EBs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102059
Number of pages14
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume92
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503006 Educational research

Keywords

  • ACHIEVEMENT GOALS
  • CHILDREN ASSESSMENT
  • Cognitive abilities
  • EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS
  • Elementary school
  • Epistemic beliefs
  • INQUIRY
  • MOTIVATION
  • NEED
  • ONTOLOGICAL COGNITION
  • PERSONAL EPISTEMOLOGY
  • Profile analysis
  • SELF-CONCEPT
  • Science achievement
  • TEACHING NATURE

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