Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Meta-Cognitive Strategy Usage and Epistemological Beliefs of Primary School Teacher Trainees*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Meta-Cognitive Strategy Usage and Epistemological Beliefs of Primary School Teacher Trainees*

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study was designed as a descriptive survey study in order to determine primary education teacher trainees' epistemological beliefs; the use of metacognitive strategies; and the relationship between epistemological beliefs and metacognitive strategies. 820 primary education teacher trainees' were selected from the department of primary education at seven education faculties. The Epistemological Beliefs Scale and the Metacognition Inventory were used to collect the data. In data analysis, means and standard deviations were used. In order to determine the differences between the groups, in pair sample comparisons independent t-test was used. For multiple sample comparisons, one-way ANOVA analysis was used with Tukey HSD test and Games Howell. In order to determine the relationship between the variables, Pearson correlation analysis was conducted. The results revealed that the beliefs of primary education teacher trainees' on 'learning depends on effort' were developed/matured more in comparison to the beliefs on 'learning depends on skills' and the beliefs on 'there is a single truth.' Significant differences were found among their beliefs in terms of gender, grade, and the university they attend; while no significant relationship was found between their academic achievement and beliefs. Results also revealed that among the metacognitive strategies they used the most, primary education teacher trainees' used 'self control' 'cognitive strategy', 'self evaluation' and 'self-awareness' respectively . Significant differences were found among metacognitive strategies they used in terms of gender, grade, and the university they attend while no significant relationship was found between their academic achievement and metacognitive strategies they used. Furthermore, the results indicated that there was a significant relationship between primary education teacher trainees' epistemological beliefs and metacognitive strategy use. In order to improve their epistemological beliefs and to increase the level of metacognitive strategy use, instructional activities could be improved. For researchers; different research methodologies (experimental and qualitative) could be employed, besides study could be conducted with different evaluation instruments and parameters. Additionally, it could be suggested that various examples could be presented in class, especially in the professional knowledge courses to develop the primary education pre-service teachers' beliefs about "there is only one truth". Moreover, it could be emphasized that the strategy use is important not only in planning, arranging and evaluating own learning but also making teaching activities guided, particularly for 3rd year pre-service teachers whose meta-cognitive strategy use was obtained as low. Thus, the activities to increase the strategy use could be designed. Lastly, indirect and direct teaching activities could be carried out to enhance the male students' strategy use as the level of class increases.

Key Words

Epistemological Beliefs, The Metacognitive Strategies, Primary School Teacher Trainees.

Epistemological beliefs and metacognitive competencies, which are explained in relation to the constructivist learning theory and accepted as important components of self-regulation based learning, have received considerable interest in the studies on the students' success (Braten & Stromso, 2004; Schommer, 1993; Sperling, Howard, Miller & Murphy, 2002 cited in Topçu & Yilmaz-Tüzün, 2009, p. 693). Thus, researchers have discussed the significance of the research on the relationship between these two concepts, which could enable to understand the nature of students' learning (Schommer-Aikins, 2004). In recent years, metacognitive research and more specifically, the interest in so called 'epistemological beliefs' have grown (Clarebout, Alan, Luyten, & Bamps, 2001, p. 53). Perry who was the pioneer in this research area defined that the epistemological beliefs as the beliefs reflecting the individuals' perspectives related to what the information means, what criterion and limitations are used for the definition of information, and how it is acquired (Perry, 1981). …

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