Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2012, Article ID 912783, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/912783
Research Article

Taiwan Junior High School Adolescents’ Epistemological Beliefs toward Mathematics and Science

1Taoyuan Tzu-Chiang Junior High School, No. 80, Rongmin Road, Taoyuan County, Zhongli City 32073, Taiwan
2Graduate School of Education, Chung Yuan Christian University, No. 200, Chung-Pei Road, Chung-Li 32023, Taiwan

Received 21 December 2011; Accepted 17 January 2012

Academic Editors: M. Platsidou and B. K. Smith

Copyright © 2012 Chun-Yi Lee and Yuan Yuan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Few previous studies have compared students' epistemological beliefs in mathematics with those in science. To ascertain the discipline and gender differences on students’ epistemological beliefs, this study conducted a survey with 495 Taiwanese ninth graders in junior high school. Findings show that female students express the stronger belief that science learning occurs in a quick fashion as compared with the view that mathematics learning occurs in a quick fashion , both male and female students express the stronger belief that mathematics knowledge is certain as compared with the view that science knowledge is certain, and male students express the stronger belief that science knowledge is simple and the ability to learn science is fixed as compared with the view that mathematics knowledge is simple and the ability to learn mathematics is fixed. Male students were also in more agreement in their belief about quick learning, certain knowledge, simple knowledge, and the innate ability of mathematics, as well as certain knowledge, simple knowledge, and the innate ability of science, than were female students. This study also revealed that students’ beliefs about knowledge are domain-specific, but some evidence of domain-general beliefs also exists.