Epistemologies, Teacher and Student

“Personal epistemology” refers to the beliefs that people hold about knowledge and knowing; the psychological study on this topic started with the seminal work of William Perry in 1970. It seemed plausible that the ideas students have about the nature of knowledge and how one comes to know something influence the learning strategies that they use, while the epistemologies of teachers seemed likely to influence how they teach. This entry further defines personal epistemology and discusses research connecting students’ and teachers’ epistemological beliefs with teaching and learning.

Personal epistemology researchers concentrate on two broad dimensions of epistemology: (1) the nature of knowledge and (2) the nature of know-ing. The nature of knowledge is conceptualized in terms of beliefs about its simplicity (simple vs. complex) and about ...

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