The importance of epistemic cognition in student-centred learning

Effie Maclellan, R. Soden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)
    21 Downloads (Pure)


    To infer the sophistication of epistemic thinking in a sample of undergraduate students, 25 participants completed a free-response task in which they were asked to give reasons for their agreement or disagreement with a small number of beliefs about the role of tutorials and of tutors in gaining knowledge. Responses were analysed according to King & Kitchener's (1994) stages of reasoning, revealing that the justifications offered were either at the stages of pre-reflective or quasi-reflective thinking with none exhibiting reflective thinking. The findings have two main pedagogical implications: first that good teaching be understood not as a set of performance skills which may only be opportunistically related to students' extant conceptualisations but as the locus through which students confront their own epistemic beliefs. A second implication is that to extend students' reasoning, teaching practices must focus explicitly on the difficult issue of what counts as evidence
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)253-268
    Number of pages15
    JournalInstructional Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2004


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