Learners’ epistemic beliefs and their relations with science learning—exploring the cultural differences

Fang Ying Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the cultural differences in learners’ epistemic beliefs (EBs) and the relations with science learning by cross comparing empirical studies from different countries in the recent 10 years. The reviewed papers were collected from the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) database on the research platform, Web of Knowledge, from 2004 to 2013. A total of 106 papers were included in the review. Comparisons of the research purposes, questions, and findings were made across different countries to reveal possible cultural differences. The analysis shows that among the eight issues abstracted from the 106 papers, the four which received the most attention were the status of students’ EBs (or conceptions of learning, COL), the role or effects of EBs (or COL) in science learning, the effects of instructional intervention on changes in EBs, and the relations between EBs and study approaches. Since most studies were conducted in Taiwan, Turkey, and the USA, the cultural comparisons were made mainly across these three countries. It was found that learners from Taiwan and the USA, which were identified as having lower context cultures, seemed to have developed more sophisticated beliefs about knowledge, but they tended to believe more in the innate ability of learning. On the contrary, learners from Turkey as well as China, which were recognized as having high-context cultures, tended to believe more in authority knowledge while relying more on the value of effort. While not much difference in the relations between learners’ EBs and science learning could be found across Taiwan, Turkey, and the USA, it was much easier for the EBs of learners with low-context cultures to be affected by instructional interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience Education Research and Practices in Taiwan
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789812874726
ISBN (Print)9789812874719
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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