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Changing Students’ Epistemological Beliefs and Understanding of Basic Concepts on Electric Circuits

Teresita D. Taganahan

The encouragement of more mature epistemological beliefs is important to student achievement. This study is about epistemological beliefs of students who are enrolled in introductory electricity, magnetism and waves and their understanding of the basic concepts of electric circuits. The students were divided into two groups – one with orientation and one without orientation. To determine the epistemological beliefs of students, the author utilized the Maryland Physics Expectations Survey instrument or (MPEX). The author also utilized Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuit Concepts Test (DIRECT) to establish the conceptual understanding of students and their misconceptions. To find out the changes in the epistemological beliefs and understanding of students on basic concepts of electric circuits, the pretest-posttest method was employed in the study. Results showed that the level of understanding among students with orientation was more improved than the group without orientation. While the result showed a decline in students’ over-all epistemological beliefs, slight improvements in some dimensions were seen with different dimensions improved or became worse for the two groups. It further showed that repeatedly giving orientation of experts’ epistemological beliefs helped students develop more mature epistemological beliefs that may lead to better learning outcomes.

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