Measuring elementary students` practical epistemologies.

Report
Knowing By Engagement: Measuring
elementary students’ practical
epistemologies
Mary Grace Villanueva ▪ Brian Hand
Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Iowa
LearnLab ▪ Carnegie Mellon University
August 5, 2012
Science Writing Heuristic (SWH)
Framework that requires the implementation of
inquiry strategies, embedded language and
argumentation practices (Keys & Hand, 1999)
• Argumentation-based Inquiry
– Construction and Critique (Ford, 2007)
– Inquiry + semiotic tools (Fang, 2005, Seah, Clarke, & Hart,
2010)
• Learning through immersion (Cavagnetto, 2010)
– Authentic learning environments (Bransford & Schwartz,
1999)
– Problem-based learning; Instruction-assisted
learning
• Writing
– Constituting, cognitive processes (Klein, 2003)
Cornell Critical Thinking (CCT) Skills Tests
YEAR 1
Two-sample t-tests
conducted on the 5th
grade CCT data
SWH students (n=1,154)
had significantly higher
gains overall (p=.002),
compared to control
students (n=882)
“What does this mean?”
i.
Do students view science and learning
differently?
ii. What do they take out of their science
classes that will help them learn in the
future?
Personal Epistemology
• Epistemic beliefs are related to aspects of students’
learning including achievement, motivation, cognitive
engagement and strategy use
• Measuring epistemic beliefs, e.g., Epistemological
Questionnaire (Schommer, 1990), Epistemic Beliefs
Inventory (Schraw, Bendixen, & Dunkle, 2002), and the
Epistemological Beliefs Survey (Wood & Kardash, 2002)
Epistemic Beliefs of Elementary Students
Elder, 1999, 2002
Conley, Pintrich, Vekiri
and Harrison (2004)
i.
Purpose of science
ii.
Changing nature of science
iii.
Role of experiments in
developing scientific theories
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
iv.
Coherence of science
v.
Source of science knowledge
Source
Certainty
Judgment
Development
School Science vs. Formal Science
• Naïve systems of beliefs about the nature of
knowledge and the processes of knowing (Hofer &
Pintrich, 1997) in science
• May contrast with their beliefs about the thinking and
activities that scientists do (Driver, et al., 1996)
• Sandoval (2005) proposes that students’ perceptions
about professional or formal science may not be
suitable for providing insight to how they perceive
their own inquiry efforts (p.649)
Students’ epistemologies are rooted in
practice rather than general conceptions
about the scientific enterprise (e.g. Lehrer,
Schauble & Lucas, 2008).
Epistemic Beliefs
• “Situated and contextual nature” of beliefs (Hofer &
Pintrich, 1997, p. 124)
• Informed by complementary analyses of the learning
environment and content with which students engage
• Need for a “double track approach” (Franco, Muis,
Kendeou, Ranellucci, Sampasivama, & Wang, 2012)
Science education research has not adequately
captured or understood students’ practical
epistemologies or, “the epistemological ideas
that students apply to their own scientific
knowledge building through inquiry”
(Sandoval, 2005, p. 635)
Rationale
There is a limited knowledge base regarding the way in
which students:
1) Understand the nature and development of scientific
knowledge, and
2) Participate productively in science practices and
discourse (Duschl, 2008)
There is a critical need to understand students’
beliefs about the processes knowledge production
in current instructional settings.
To understand how elementary students:
• Develop their beliefs about the nature of knowledge
based on the processes of knowing;
• Perceive their individual and social participation in
the classroom scientific community via productive
ways of representing ideas, using scientific tools and
interacting with peers (National Research Council, 2007)
• Dispositions??
Dispositions in Science Learning Survey
(DSS) (Villanueva, Hand, & McGill, in progress)
• Self-report survey
• Measures elementary students’ practical
epistemologies stemming from the context of their
science classroom
• 30-item
• Likert scale
• Pre/post and longitudinal
• In conjunction with descriptions of students’ science
practices and classroom environments
1. I use the skills I learn in science
to help me in other subjects.
2. In science, I use different types of
data to generate evidence.
3. My group members help me see
things from a different
perspective.
4. I question or challenge my
classmates’ ideas in science.
5. I make decisions about my
classmates’ claims only after I
listen to their evidence.
6. My ideas about science change
during or after an investigation.
Pilot 2.2
Pilot 1
• 6 questions
• (n= 800,
treatment and
control)
• 20 items
• (n= 124, SWH)
Open-ended
Questionnaire
• 30 items
• (n= 106; 24
treatment, 82
control)
Pilot 2.1
Validation measures:
 Student interviews and think alouds (n=42)
 Content experts
 Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses
• (n= 1056; 598
treatment, 468
control)
Preliminary Findings
Pilot 2.1
1.
2.
3.
4.
Certainty and Development
Public and Private Negotiation
Structure of Argument
Transfer
Goodness-of-Fit Indicators for
Practical Epistemology Survey
(n=106, in progress);Cronbach’s
alpha .97; p<0.001
Renamed Factors?
1.
2.
3.
4.
Epistemic, ontological and
metacognitive beliefs about
knowing and knowledge
Perceptions about learning in the
public domain and private
reflections
Attitude ascribed toward peer
interactions in an argumentative
context
Value of application of
knowledge and skills
a) To detect changes to students’ beliefs about the
processes by which knowledge is achieved;
b) Identify epistemic dispositions and beliefs that
may or may not be in line in achieving the epistemic
aims and values of a particular approach;
c) Monitor the process of change, and;
d) Understand how students’ formal epistemologies
are developed and informed by the learning
opportunities afforded in their science classrooms.
Acknowledgements
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of
Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grants
R305A090094 and R305B10005 to The University of Iowa. The
opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent
views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

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