Examining the influences of epistemic beliefs and knowledge representations on cognitive processing and conceptual change when learning physics

Gina M. Franco, Krista R. Muis, Panayiota Kendeou, John Ranellucci, Lavanya Sampasivam, Xihui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of epistemic beliefs and knowledge representations in cognitive and metacognitive processing when learning about physics concepts through text. Specifically, we manipulated the representation of physics concepts in texts about Newtonian mechanics and explored how these texts interacted with individuals' epistemic beliefs to facilitate or constrain learning. Results revealed that when individuals' epistemic beliefs were consistent with the knowledge representations in their assigned texts, they performed better on various measures of learning (use of processing strategies, text recall, and changes in misconceptions) than when their epistemic beliefs were inconsistent with the knowledge representations. These results have implications for how researchers conceptualize epistemic beliefs and support contemporary views regarding the context sensitivity of individuals' epistemic beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Keywords

  • Cognitive and metacognitive processing strategies
  • Conceptual change
  • Epistemic beliefs
  • Knowledge representations

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