The First Year University Experience: Using personal epistemology to understand effective learning and teaching in higher education
Brownlee, J., Walker, S., Lennox, S., Exley B., & Pearce, S. (2009). The first year university experience: Using personal epistemology to understand effective learning and teaching in higher education. Higher Education, 58(5), 599-618. doi:10.1007/s10734-009-9212-2
Personal epistemological beliefs, or beliefs about knowing, provide a way in which to understand learning in a range of educational contexts because they are considered to act as filters for all other knowledge and beliefs. In particular, they provide a useful framework for investigating learning and teaching for first year students in tertiary education, who are typically considered to hold less sophisticated epistemological beliefs. Using semi-structured interviews, this study investigated the nature of beliefs about knowing and learning of 35 first year teacher education and creative writing students at a large metropolitan university in Australia. The interview analysis indicated that a relationship existed between individuals’ core beliefs about knowing and their beliefs about learning. This relationship has implications for the way in which we support first year students’ learning as they transition into university and progress through their courses.