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Using Concept Cartoons to Identify the Epistemological Beliefs of Middle School Students

Şengül Atasoy

Abstract


Epistemological beliefs, including the source of knowledge, the certainty of knowledge, the organization of knowledge, the control of learning, and the speed of learning, are important to identify since these beliefs impact students' learning processes and how they attribute meaning to life. Concept cartoons, that students find genuine and credible, are found to be effective assessment tools in revealing these beliefs. The present study aims to identify and compare 5th and 8th grade middle school students' epistemological beliefs utilizing concept cartoons. The study participants were 5th (N=38) and 8th grade (N=47) students enrolled in three different middle schools in the Çamlıhemşin district of Rize. In order to reveal the students' opinions, one concept cartoon for each dimension of epistemological belief was utilized. A scoring rubric was employed to analyze the student responses to the concept cartoons. According to the results of the t-tests on students' scores, the 5th and 8th grade students' epistemological beliefs in the dimensions of organization of knowledge, source of knowledge, and certainty of knowledge are similar. In contrast, 8th grade students' epistemological beliefs related to the speed of learning and the control of learning were found to be significantly higher than those of 5th-grade students. Among the mean values of the students' epistemological beliefs, source of knowledge beliefs were found to be the lowest.

Keywords Concept Cartoons, Epistemological Beliefs, Middle School Students

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17509/jsl.v3i3.23389

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Published by Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
in collaboration with the Indonesian Society of Science Educators
2021