Effects of empowerment programs in remote junior high schools on scientific epistemological beliefs, self-regulation strategies, and academic achievement in science

Huey Jiuan Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the continually growing recognition of the notion of human rights and democratic ideals, addressing the education gap between social classes has become a priority for governments worldwide. This research focused on the effects in remote schools of epistemological belief programs conducted with both teachers and students as well as with only students, and examined how junior high school teachers and students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, self-regulation strategies, and academic achievements in science changed following the experimental programs. Research samples were collected from 164 eighth-grade students at three remote schools in New Taipei City and Taoyuan City, Taiwan. This research adopted a quasiexperimental design. Two experimental groups were formed, and the students in both participated in a 14-week empowerment programs. All participants completed the Epistemological Beliefs Scale, Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire, and Science Academic Achievement Test. The obtained data were analyzed using ANOVA and ANCOVA. The main findings of this research are as follows. (1) Both the epistemological beliefs intervention for science teachers and students (EBts) and the epistemological beliefs intervention for only students (EBs) yielded higher innate ability, fast acquisition, knowledge simplicity, knowledge certainty, and overall scores than did the traditional teaching materials (T). The EBts intervention yielded superior innate ability, fast acquisition, and overall scores than the EBs intervention did, but the same results were not observed for simplicity and certainty of science knowledge. (2) Similarly, the EBts intervention yielded higher self-regulation strategies in learning science than the EBs intervention did. However, no significant difference was observed among the other groups. (3) No significant difference in terms of self-regulation strategies was present among participants with different levels of science epistemological beliefs. (4) Both the EBts and EBs groups exhibited higher science learning cognitive performance than the T group did. However, no significant difference existed between the EBts and EBs groups. (5) Among the students with high scientific epistemological beliefs, those in the EBts group had significantly higher cognitive performance than those in the T group did; among the students with low scientific epistemological belief students, both the EBts and EBs intervention had a significantly more positive effect on cognitive performance than the T nonintervention did. However, the cognitive performance of students with medium scientific epistemological beliefs did not differ among any of the groups. The implications of and suggestions based on the research findings are expected to contribute to remedial instruction and learning guidance for disadvantaged students in remote areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-54
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec

Keywords

  • Empowerment
  • Epistemological belief
  • Remote area
  • Science academic achievement
  • Self-regulated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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