HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 19 no. 1 (2010)

Linking Students' Epistemological Beliefs with their Metacognition in a Chemistry Classroom

Richard Pulmones

Discipline: Education, Philosophy



This paper reports a qualitative investigation of students' epistemological beliefs in science and in chemistry and how such epistemology is linked with students' metacognitive behaviors. Epistemological beliefs are conceptualized as being made up of independent dimensions activated in context and operating as epistemic cognition. Epistemological beliefs of nine cases were initially ascertained from an administration of the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Sciences (EBAPS). Analyses of various qualitative data afforded the tagging of cases as exhibiting naïve or sophisticated epistemology. Results established the non-orthogonality of the different dimensions of epistemological beliefs as evidenced by cases exhibiting naïve epistemology in one dimension and, at the same time, manifesting sophisticated epistemology in another dimension. The paper reiterates that epistemological beliefs contribute to students' metacognitive behaviors. Cases exhibiting naïve epistemology resort to simplistic ways of acquiring knowledge and demonstrate low metacognitive behaviors. On the other hand, cases manifesting sophisticated epistemology select study strategies for understanding, are more engaged in their learning, and overtly demonstrated high metacognitive behaviors.