A modeling study : the interrelationships among elementary students’ epistemological beliefs, learning enviroment perceptions, learning approaches and science achievement

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2010
Uysal, Emel
This study is aimed to explore the relationships among elementary students’ epistemological beliefs of science, perceptions of learning environments, learning approaches and science achievement. For this purpose, a model of the associations among these variables was proposed and tested by structural equation modeling. In this model, it was hypothesized that a) students’ perceptions of their learning environments would directly influence their epistemological beliefs of science and learning approaches, b) students’ epistemological beliefs of science would directly influence their learning approaches and science achievement, c) students’ learning approaches would directly influence their science achievement. A total of 2702 students from 139 public elementary schools from İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır, Van, Antalya, Afyon, Eskişehir, and Samsun were administered three instruments to assess their epistemological beliefs of science, perceptions of learning environments, and learning approaches. Students’ previous year final report card grades were used as the indicator of their science achievement. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to determine the structure of students’ epistemological beliefs of science, perceptions of learning environments, and learning approaches. Although multidimensionality of epistemological beliefs of science was supported, a different factor structure was obtained for Turkish elementary school students compared to the theoretically proposed structure for the instrument. The results of the structural equation modeling generally supported the proposed hypotheses. The final model obtained in the study revealed that students’ perceptions of the classroom environments directly predicted students’ epistemological beliefs and learning approaches. Students’ epistemological beliefs predicted their learning approaches and science achievement, and students’ learning approaches influenced their science achievement.

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Citation Formats
E. Uysal, “A modeling study : the interrelationships among elementary students’ epistemological beliefs, learning enviroment perceptions, learning approaches and science achievement,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.