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Epistemological beliefs in science – a person-centered approach to investigate high school students' profiles
Kampa, N., Neumann, I., Heitmann, P, Kremer, K.

Epistemological beliefs in science – a person-centered approach to investigate high school students' profiles

Contemporary Educational Psychology. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.04.007

Epistemological beliefs (EB) are a prominent topic in educational research and considered important for the learning process. Science EB in particular are not only important for learning in science but also a unique learning goal itself and connected to science abilities and achievement as well as to students' personal features and background. Since EB are domain-specific we investigated the four relevant dimensions: justification, development, source, and certainty for the domain of science. We explored the number and characteristics of science EB profiles among 4,995 tenth graders and, by means of latent profile analysis (LPA), related them to student related constructs. We identified four groups that show level and shape differences. These groups also differed considerably regarding constructs related to students' learning, namely self-concept, motivation and science achievement as well as gender, social background and school type. Implications for further research, in particular for cross-cultural studies, are discussed.