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Thesis Final

Thesis Final

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1 INTRODUCTION For many years, educational researchers have maintained an interest in the effective prediction of students’ academic achievement

in school. The prediction and explanation of academic achievement and the examination of the factors relating to the academic achievement are topics of greatest importance in different educational levels. Studies have shown that prior academic performance is an important predictor of performance in other levels of education. Similarly, cognitive ability was found as the strongest predictor of academic performance. However, some studies confirm that the correlation between cognitive ability and academic performance tends to decline as students progress in the educational system (Casis, 1995). Thus, many researchers have emphasized the need to include non-cognitive factors such as personality, motivation (Aquinas, 1990), gender, race, social class as well as aptitudes (Kerlinger, 1986) in investigations of individual differences in academic achievement. Researchers continue to investigate the sources of variance in academic achievement, focusing on what students bring with them to school which either facilitate or hinder their performance (Casis, 1995). Movements in contemporary education during the past few decades, for instance, have considered the influence of other cognitive factors such as learning styles (Barbe & Milone, 1981) and epistemological beliefs (Perry, 1970). Epistemology refers to the justification, nature, sources and evaluation of knowledge. It has been reported that epistemological and cognitive sophistication are positively related to skills such as critical thinking, self regulation and ability to communicate ideas and learning in collaboration. The investigation of students’ perceptions of learning, teaching and

2 epistemological beliefs in the sciences has been widely researched because of their influences on learning, goal orientation and use of cognitive strategies. Similarly, educators have, for many years, noticed that some students prefer certain methods of learning more than others (Diaz and Cartnal, 1999). These dispositions, referred to as learning styles, form a student's unique learning preference and aid teachers in the planning of small-group and individualized instruction. Studies about the epistemological beliefs and learning styles correlated with the academic achievement of high school students in the Philippines are very limited. In the same manner, investigation about the moderating effects of different socio-demographic characteristics of the students toward the relationship of learning style, epistemological beliefs and academic performance has been very inadequate. Studies made would usually tackle about the learning styles and epistemological beliefs of graduate and undergraduate students. Additionally, comprehending how the Philippine secondary students think, process information as well as recognizing their beliefs in acquiring and building their own cognitive structures has caught little attention among Philippine researchers. In the CLSU setting, not just the college students but also the high school students share the same criticisms when they poorly perform in their academics specifically in science subjects. This may be attributed to many factors such as language barrier (David, 1999), mismatched learning and teaching styles (Velasquez, 2007), learning modalities (Leoveras, 2001), among others. Unfortunately, there were no specific studies yet that deeply examine how these high school students manage their own understanding of their inner cognitive constructs as well as their learning styles. It is important, thus, that researchers would make

3 study pertaining to high school students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs so that not only the teachers would have an understanding of the students, but the students as well would understand themselves as to how they will properly treat what they know and understand their epistemic beliefs that they can utilize in dealing with various facets of learning. This study, therefore, was conducted to determine the dominant learning style of each of the respondents and the classification of epistemological beliefs. It also looked into the possibility of the effects of epistemological beliefs on the learning styles of the students. Likewise, how individuals view knowledge and learning that would have an influence upon their beliefs about their own ability to engage in academic tasks was analyzed. It further investigated whether epistemological beliefs and learning styles would have an impact on student's academic performance. Lastly, this study explored the possible influence of moderating variables such as age, gender, school's location, ICT accessibility, monthly family income, parents’ educational attainment, and parents’ occupation on the epistemological beliefs, learning styles, and academic performance of the CLSU high school students.

Statement of the Problem The growing concern about students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles is paving the way for more researches to understand how students may relate their understanding, adoption of goal orientations and use of metacognitive and self-regulated learning strategies, among other important aspects of learning in schools.

4 There are efforts to study the influence of epistemological beliefs on various learning strategies. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles in Biology? 5. What types of epistemological beliefs are possessed by the high school students in Biology? 3. that in the past. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students’ learning styles and academic performance in Biology? 6. However. What is the profile of student’s academic performance in Biology during the school year 2009-2010? 4. little work has been done to evaluate the epistemological beliefs and learning styles of students in general and evaluate the effects of the epistemological beliefs and learning styles on academic performance of students. In the context of this objective. What is the most dominant learning style among high school students in Biology? 2. little attention has been given to assess the influence of several moderating variables in the relationship between the students’ academic performance. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students’ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology? . learning styles and epistemological beliefs. These studies investigated the use of strategies for specific tasks and in the contexts of traditional classroom learning. It is also interesting to note. this study addressed the following questions: 1.

5 7. monthly family income. ICT accessibility. it was conducted to test the moderating effect of several socio-demographic characteristics on the relationship of students’ learning styles. parents’ educational background. school's location. epistemological beliefs. Do dimensions of the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs predict the academic performance of the students in Biology? 8. monthly family income. school's location. parents’ occupation? 9. Is the relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance moderated by age. parents’ occupation? 10. parents’ educational background. Furthermore. parents’ educational background. school's location. ICT accessibility. This study was conceptualized to investigate whether students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles would predict their academic performance. parents’ occupation? Objectives of the Study The purpose of this study was to investigate the types of learning styles and epistemological beliefs of the students and to determine the effects of students’ beliefs and learning style on their academic performance as measured by their final grade in Biology in the five high schools of Central Luzon State University during school year 2009-2010. gender. gender. monthly family income. and their academic performance. Is the relationship between learning styles and academic performance moderated by age. ICT accessibility. What are the socio-demographic characteristics of the CLSU sophomore high school students in terms of age. . gender.

8. ascertain the types of epistemological beliefs of the high school students in Biology. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students’ learning styles and academic performance in Biology. 3.6 Specifically. 7. find out the most dominant learning style among high school students in Biology. 2. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles in Biology. 4. school's location. determine the profile of student’s academic performance in Biology during the school year 2009-2010. find out whether the dimensions of the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs predicted the academic performance of the students in Biology. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students’ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology. parents’ educational background. ICT accessibility. monthly family income. 5. gender. parents’ occupation. . this study was conducted in order to: 1. find out whether the relationship between learning styles and academic performance is moderated by age. 6.

gender. gender. parents’ educational background. parents’ occupation.7 9. Learning styles and epistemological beliefs do not predict the academic performance of students in Biology. parents’ educational background. school's location. determine the socio-demographic characteristics of CLSU high school students in terms of age. ICT accessibility. There is no significant relationship between the high school students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles in Biology during the school year 2009-2010.05 level of confidence: 1. monthly family income. parents’ occupation. gender. parents’ educational background. and . There is no significant relationship between the high school students’ learning styles. establish whether the relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance is moderated by age. school's location. 4. ICT accessibility. Hypotheses of the Study The following hypotheses were tested at 0. ICT accessibility. epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology during the school year 2009-2010. parents’ occupation. monthly family income. 2. 3. The relationship between learning styles and academic performance is not moderated by age. and 10. monthly family income. school's location.

Emphasize the critical roles of epistemological beliefs and learning styles in influencing academic performance of students. gender.8 5. monthly family income. Moreover. provides not only a basis for a more thorough understanding of Filipino high school learners but also an alternative perspective in efforts to improve students' academic achievement levels. Provide theoretical development to support more in-depth studies of students’ learning styles and academic performance. ICT accessibility. The relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance is not moderated by age. therefore. the study considered other factors namely: age. it involved high school students who are mainly from rural school – groups that the researcher has observed have been rarely involved in previous studies. This study. parents’ occupation. Second. epistemological beliefs and academic performance by employing causal and effect design through regression analysis. parents’ educational attainment and parents’ occupation . and . It used an improved design in investigating relationships among learning styles. 2. parents’ educational background. It was anticipated that the results of this study would: 1. ICT accessibility. school's location. gender. school’s location. Significance of the Study This study is an important contribution to the Philippine research on learning styles and epistemological beliefs. monthly family income.

all satellite high schools of CLSU that execute Revised Basic Education Curriculum. Render a set of principles for creating a learning environment that would enhance students’ development of sophisticated epistemological beliefs. This study also correlated epistemological beliefs and learning styles to academic performance and tried to look into the moderating influence of age. One hundred forty seven high school students from the University Laboratory High School Bibiclat. The Learning Styles Inventory developed by Grasha and Reichmann (1996) and Epistemological Beliefs Inventory developed by Schraw et al (2002) were used to assess respondents’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs.9 3. ICT accessibility. Agricultural Science and Technology School which is primarily an agricultural high school and the University Science High School that implements the science curriculum. gender. Palusapis. respectively. parents’ occupation on the relationship between the abovementioned variables. were the respondents of this research. The academic performance refers to the final grade obtained by the students in Biology. monthly family income. school's location. Scope and Limitation of the Study This study focused on ascertaining the epistemological beliefs. parents’ educational background. . All of them are using the same reference materials. learning styles and academic performance of high school students of five high schools of the Central Luzon State University. and Pinili.

2010-2011 in the five high schools of the Central Luzon State University namely: ULHS Palusapis in Science City of Muñoz. ULHS Pinili in San Jose City. ULHS-Pinili are outreach high schools operated by CLSU.10 Time and Place of the Study This study was conducted during the 1st semester S. ULHS-Palusapis.Y. . ULHS-Bibiclat. ULHS Bibiclat in Aliaga. the Agricultural Science and Technology School and the University Science High School both situated within CLSU main campus.

Belenky et . relativistic thinking is still a feature. constituted a major shift in epistemological thinking because individuals considered that knowledge is actively and personally constructed. Although these positions are not intended to be genderspecific. The next position. relativism and commitment. In the final position. they conceded that. Absolute truths no longer exist because truth is considered to be relative to individuals' personal interpretations of experiences. multiplism. They relied less on authorities for absolute truths. but particular beliefs are more valued than others and the commitment to them was flexible. Next. there were some things that could not be known with any certainty. as well as absolute truths.11 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Epistemological Beliefs Development of Personal Epistemology Research The seminal work of William Perry (1970) revealed that liberal arts students in Harvard University and Radcliffe University increasingly developed more complex and integrated epistemological beliefs as they progressed through their course and noticed that students moved through four main epistemological positions. which he described as dualism. In subsequent research. related to commitment. Individuals who held dualistic views about the nature of knowledge believed that absolute truths (right/wrong) exist and could be transmitted to an individual from an authority or expert. Such individuals believed that knowledge comprised both personal opinions and ultimate truths. they were derived using male Harvard students. when individuals began to conceive knowledge in a multiplistic way. relativism. although initially this may have occurred in some contexts only. and personal opinions and truths were still considered to be 'right' or 'wrong'.

ranging from knowledge is absolute. to . The students were interviewed yearly using open-ended questions and asked to complete short answer responses to the Measure of Epistemological Reflections (MER). (1986) derived a similar set of epistemological positions using female samples. On the other hand. Schommer (1994) does not totally discount the role of development in personal epistemology. She also states that beliefs do not develop in synchrony and that the synchrony or asynchrony of beliefs is dependent on an individual’s developmental level (SchommerAikens. 1994). Hofer and Pintrich (1997) stated that the epistemological movement in the Perry’s lower stages is clearer than movement in the upper stages. using a sample of more than 100 male and female college students in longitudinal research. 2002). Perry’s (1970) development model is not without critics. 1994). Baxter Magolda (1993) continued this line of research. She claims that there is more than one epistemological dimension to consider and each dimension has a range of possible values.12 al. Schommer (1994) outlines five epistemological dimensions and their corresponding values: (1) certainty of knowledge. some researchers include Perry’s scheme in their critiques those developmental perspectives “emphasize individual cognition and universal forms of thought to the exclusion of sociocultural and contextual factors”. Moore (2002) reports that in social constructivist literature. This study was extended also up into the post-college years with 70 students (Baxter Magolda. Schommer (1994) proposes that epistemological beliefs be conceived as a system of relatively independent beliefs. The sample included 50 males and 51 females at a Midwestern university with a final sample of 80 students in the fourth year of the study (Baxter Magolda.

some knowledge has yet to be discovered. yet once the solution is found. On the contrary. ranging from the ability to learn is fixed at birth. 1994b). it will be absolute (Schommer. ranging from knowledge is acquired quickly or not-at-all to knowledge is acquired gradually. 1994a) is that one cannot simply assume that epistemological beliefs are in sync. and (5) the speed of the knowledge acquisition. and a large amount of knowledge is evolving (Schommer. some knowledge has yet to be discovered. (2) structure of knowledge. epistemological beliefs are relatively independent.13 knowledge is tentative. especially when individuals are changing their epistemological beliefs (Duell & Schommer-Aikens. In other words. the sophisticated learner may believe that a small amount of knowledge is unchanging. Schommer (1994a) proposes that individuals’ epistemological beliefs are best represented as frequency distributions with the distinction between the naïve learner and the sophisticated learner a matter of the shape of the distribution. Rather than characterizing epistemological beliefs as a single point on a dimension. meaning that individuals are not necessarily sophisticated or naïve in all beliefs concurrently. According to Schommer (1994a). the most noted distinction in Schommer’s theory (1990. to knowledge is organized as highly interwoven concepts. the ability to learn can be changed. (4) control of knowledge acquisition. beliefs are independent and may not develop at the same rate or be inconsistent . the naïve individual believes much knowledge is certain. is handed down by authority to knowledge is derived through reason. 2001). 1994a). ranging from knowledge is organized as isolated bits and pieces. individuals may believe that the solution to poverty is highly complex. 1994b). ranging from knowledge. (3) source of knowledge. While based on Perry’s (1970) groundbreaking work. and a small portion of knowledge is changing (Schommer. For instance. For example.

1997). Some of these expectations reflect what both consider to be “important to learn. These expectations and beliefs about teaching and learning are epistemological as . the individual’s belief that knowledge is isolated may change to the belief that knowledge is highly complex and involves an intricate network of ideas. For example. how it should be learned. Schommer (1994a) purports that epistemological beliefs have indirect and direct effects on aspects of cognition and how students approach learning. 1997). As development occurs. King further explained that both teachers and students hold expectations about the teaching and learning process and asserted that these expectations are shaped by prior experiences and personal philosophies. Hofer and Pintrich (1997) relay the important contribution of Schommer’s work and that her research initiated other researchers to investigate how epistemological beliefs might be linked to issues of academic classroom learning and performance. King (2000) described the frustration and misunderstandings in both student and teacher experience when there is a large discrepancy between student’s and professor’s expectations about a course and what should occur in the classroom. who has what responsibilities in the teacher-student relationship. At the same time. made up of pieces of information and certain or never changing. The vital element underlying expectations about teaching and learning is the assumptions a person holds about knowledge and how it is gained.” and how much time and energy should be devoted to the course. In her Reflective Judgment Model about Epistemological Beliefs in the Classroom.14 with each other (Schommer & Walker. this individual may still believe that knowledge is completely certain (Schommer & Walker. an individual may hold extreme beliefs that knowledge is isolated.

Several researchers (Schommer et al. . They found that sophisticated beliefs in the areas of simple knowledge.15 they focus on the nature and origin of knowledge. Kember suggests that higher education assist new students with the transition to belief systems in line with more experienced students. involvement in learning. quick learning. self-efficacy. and more sophisticated study strategies. Schrader (2004) suggests that classrooms that feel intellectually safe to students. and the pedagogies aimed at creating both”. In line with Baxter Magolda’s assertions.. Paulsen and Feldman (1999) and Kember (2001) discuss the need for higher education to provide a learning environment that promotes the development of students’ epistemological beliefs. Kember (2001) found that attitudes and the ability to cope with studying at institutions of higher education were influenced by students’ sets of beliefs about knowledge and the process of teaching and learning. and fixed ability were significantly related to the motivational constructs of intrinsic goal orientation. Paulsen and Feldman (1999) explored the relationship between epistemological beliefs of students and their motivation to learn. control of learning. Ryan. and test anxiety. enhanced test performance. 1988. 1992. task value. 1984) found that more sophisticated epistemological beliefs were related to better grades. Baxter Magolda (1992a) suggests that “students’ epistemologies affect students’ interpretations of community. Further evidence of the importance of and the need for additional research on students’ epistemological beliefs is found in studies that assess students’ beliefs and academic performance. Schommer 1990. extrinsic goal orientation.

16 resulting in more conducive learning environments, are derived from a moral atmosphere and an epistemological “fit” between teacher and student. A moral climate in the classroom is one where the instructor models respect, critical reflection, inclusiveness and support. It was hypothesized that even if a moral climate is present; there may be tension between students’ and professors’ epistemological perspectives or fit. The instructor may challenge students to think beyond their ways of knowing that they feel comfortable with, and the learning experience may not fit the students’ epistemological perspectives. For instance, the teacher may validate contradictory viewpoints or focus on construction of knowledge rather than on disseminating knowledge (Schrader, 2004). On the other hand, students who feel supported in their views and safe to speak their mind and question their assumptions will more likely accept the challenge of a new way of thinking and be more apt to adopt new views. This event is described as “epistemic stretch” (Schrader, 2004). Further, students must first be met or valued at their initial level of epistemic thought before being able to accept new epistemologies. Many studies in epistemological literature illustrate the importance of students’ epistemological beliefs and their academic performance (Kember, 2001; Paulsen & Feldman, 1999; Hofer & Pintrich, 1997; Kardash & Scholes, 1996; Rukavina & Daneman, 1996; Qian & Alvermann, 1995; Schraw et al 1995; Schommer, 1993a, 1993b, 1988, 1990; Ryan, 1984). A study made by David (2008) found that BS Biology students and BSEd-major in Biology students taking up Plant Physiology at Central Luzon State University showed sophisticated epistemological beliefs on the dimensions of knowledge and the process of knowing in acquiring knowledge when subjected to constructivist learning environment that

17 brought them positive effect in improving the conceptual change. Majority of them held mixed epistemological beliefs on the source of knowledge. Moreover, better conceptual change was experienced by the students with sophisticated epistemological beliefs regardless of their pre-instructional conception. There is a scarcity of research, however, regarding students’ beliefs compared to those of their instructors and how these beliefs affect students’ experience and integration into the academic community. Previous research has found links between certain profiles of such beliefs about epistemology and higher academic performance (Lodewyk, 2007; Schommer, 1993a) along with a host of achievement-enhancing factors like problem-solving (King & Kitchener, 1994), comprehension (Qian & Alvermann, 1995), conceptual change (David, 2008; Mason & Boscolo, 2004) motivation (Qian & Alvermann, 1995), and use of study strategies ( Leoveras, 2001; Schommer et al, 1992).

Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance Epistemological beliefs were found to have an influence on performance of several different learning tasks in literature such as physics conceptual understanding (Hammer, 1994), text comprehension (Schommer et al., 1992; Schommer, 1990; Ryan, 1984), science learning (Qian & Alvermann, 1995; Songer & Linn, 1991), and general academic achievement (Schommer, 1993). Ryan (1984) also found that students’ beliefs about knowledge affect their understanding of complex topics or complex academic tasks like conceptual change learning. Davis (1997) stated that students’ beliefs influence short term performance in science class as well as their long term progress. Schommer (1993), in her

18 study with high school students, showed that naïve beliefs about epistemology are associated with low GPA’s. Several researchers in the science education literature investigated the students’ beliefs about nature of science and the relationships between these beliefs and science learning and achievement since 1980’s (Qian & Alvermann, 1995; Solomon et al., 1994; Larochelle & Desautels, 1991; Songer & Linn, 1991). Epistemological beliefs are believed to contribute to understanding of science concepts, science learning and performance in science classrooms (Tsai, 1998b; 2000a; Hammer, 1994; Schommer, 1993; Songer & Linn, 1991). Schommer (1997) stated that there is relationship between epistemological beliefs and learning. In one of her studies with colloquies (Schommer et al., 1992), it was stated that more students believe that the knowledge best characterized as isolated facts, the more difficulty students have in understanding information in complex domains such as statistics and medicine. Schommer (1993) also stated that academic achievement of students are not only directly influenced by the epistemological beliefs, but also indirectly influenced by the students’ learning approaches; epistemological beliefs may affect the students’ learning approaches and these approaches in consequence influence their academic achievement. In her study of 1,000 high school students, Schommer (1993) investigated the development of secondary school students’ epistemological beliefs and the influence of these beliefs on academic performance. The sample composed of 405 freshman, 312 sophomore, 274 junior and 191 senior high school students. Epistemological beliefs of the students were assessed by Schommer’s (1990) questionnaire composed of 12 subsets of items to investigate students’ preferences about knowledge and learning. In order to examine the influence of

They also collected data related to students’ gender. Development and Justification by using Elder’ (1999) instrument. Students’ academic performance was based on their scores on reading comprehension test and a university course grade. Certainty. The researchers assessed students’ epistemological beliefs in four dimensions. Conley. In this study. and its’ relationship with academic performance. Path analysis revealed that the effects of ways of knowing on academic performance are mediated by belief in the speed of learning. ethnicity. Students’ epistemological beliefs were measured both at the beginning and at end of the unit. the structure of knowledge-structure.19 epistemological beliefs on overall academic performance. namely Source. In a more specific area of research in terms of science education. et al. the researchers investigated two epistemic paradigms. ways of knowing (connected knowing and separate knowing) and epistemological beliefs (beliefs about the speed of knowledge acquisition-speed. The results showed that all four epistemological factors predicted GPA. namely. socio economic status and achievement from school records. and attainability of truth-truth). Results showed. They used the combination of mathematics and reading test scores from the Stanford Achievement Test as an indicator of students’ achievement. that students’ . characteristics of successful students-success. Schommer-Aikins and Easter (2006) conducted a study with 107 college students. In order to obtain a complete understanding of personal epistemology. knowledge construction and modification-construction. (2004) conducted a correlational study in order to investigate the changes in 187 fifth grade students’ epistemological beliefs in a nine-week hands-on science unit. the researcher conducted regression analysis in which students’ GPA scores were regressed on the four epistemological factor scores.

Certainty. On the other hand. it was0 found out that high achievers had more sophisticated beliefs. and c) mixed beliefs. b) static beliefs. According to the results. A nine-item measure called The View of Science Evaluation was used to collect data from students about their beliefs about science. Development. SES and achievement in the development of epistemological beliefs. The researchers also investigated the effect of gender. students with low SES and low achievement levels had less sophisticated beliefs compared to students with average SES and high achievement level. students who have static beliefs about science were unlikely to recognize the controversy in science knowledge. there were no significant changes in development and justification in sub-dimensions. Source. namely. but effects of SES and achievement are observed. it was found that there were significant correlations between all four epistemological beliefs subdimensions and achievement.20 epistemological beliefs about source and certainty of knowledge became more sophisticated at the end of the unit meaning that students moved away from the beliefs that knowledge was certain and existed in external authorities. Also. The participant students enrolled in a one semester physical science class. Songer and Linn (1991) investigated the relationship between 153 eight grade students’ epistemological views about science and their ability to integrate scientific knowledge about thermodynamics. and Justification. The result showed that there were no main or moderating effects of gender or ethnicity. These students believed that scientific knowledge is unchanging. The researchers also found . students’ beliefs were categorized into three groups: a) dynamic beliefs. Correlation results showed that at the end of the intervention. Students who have dynamic beliefs about science were likely to view scientific knowledge as controversial and changing. ethnicity. As a result of the analysis. However.

sequential and random.21 that students having dynamic views related to epistemology of science were more likely to demonstrate understanding of heat and temperature topic than students having more static views of science.” He defined learning as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. In other words. Learning Styles Research about learning styles began to develop several decades ago from several different directions. Learning styles can be defined. Kolb (1984) defined the way people learn through “feelings” or through “thinking. They added that. it will make science learning even harder. we must understand the nature and forms of human knowledge and the processes . These included early studies on cognitive growth. concrete and abstract. In order to understand learning. Students can integrate science knowledge properly. if they are presented with an appropriate nature of science view and with an instruction parallel to this constructivist view. and the influence of school environmental and social factors on students. students believing. Gregorc (1978) based learning on perceptual preferences. the areas of the brain related to intelligence and behavior. Songer and Linn (1991) explained that if students believe that science consists of separate and isolated pieces of knowledge. changing and developing nature of scientific knowledge were more likely to integrate concepts in thermodynamics than students believing that scientific knowledge is certain and stable. they may not able to integrate the knowledge presented in science classes. if science is presented to students as relatively unrelated pieces of information. and ordering preferences. classified and identified in many different ways.

From these three classroom dimensions three styles emerged: avoidant-participant. do not enjoy learning. 1972) to develop college student’s styles in classroom participation. To teach students with avoidant style. specialization and integration. and take responsibility for their own learning. and avoid taking part in course activities.22 whereby this knowledge is created. These students were asked to sort student behaviors in a typical classroom into response styles. and dependent-independent. Grasha. Anthony Grasha and Sheryl Reichmann developed the Grasha-Reichmann Student Learning Style Scales (GRSLAA) in 1974 (Reichmann & Grasha. which requires more effort on their part than the typical classroom. Students with avoidant style do not want to learn the content. In Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory model (ELT). their views of the teacher and/or peers. Over a period of two years. Kolb defined three stages of a person’s development: acquisition. demonstrate how learning the material will benefit them in their own lives. competitive-collaborative. Grasha and Reichmann interviewed undergraduate students of the University of Cincinnati. Collaborative/Competitive Students with collaborative style work well with others and enjoy cooperative . Students with participant style are more likely to do well in distance learning. Participant/Avoidant Students with participant style are eager to learn course content. The student’s response styles were based on three classroom dimensions: student’s attitudes toward learning. enjoy learning. and their reaction to classroom procedures. 1974.

It was also noted that the information gleaned from the GRSLSS can help instructors create effective syllabi and allow them to be more attuned to the needs of their students. or special projects based on their interests. but learners tend towards dominance in one or two categories . the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales (GRSLSS) was designed specifically to be used for senior high school and college students. Distance education that stresses cooperative learning and group projects will appeal to students with a collaborative style. as they may flounder without explicit instructor guidance. For students with competitive style. learners have some aspects of all six attributes when measured with the GRSLSS. Students with dependent learning style will need more guidance from the teacher. For students with independent style. Students with a competitive style see the classroom as a winlose situation in which they must win. and will learn only what is required. Students with a dependent style see the teacher as a source of information. self-paced work. They prefer to work on their own in individual activities. Instructional games or case study competitions will also appeal to competitive learners. want to be told what to do. give them opportunities for independent study. These students will enjoy competitive activities. As with Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. According to Diaz and Cartnal (1999). Independent/Dependent Students with independent style are curious and confident learners.23 learning and working in groups. Diaz and Cartnal pointed out that this instrument not only measures the learning styles of students but also how they deal with their fellow students and teachers. provide opportunities for individual recognition. It is important to recognize these students in a distance learning situation.

Some prefer to work with concrete information while others are more comfortable with abstraction. Grasha and Reichmann (1996) believed that students’ learning styles can be identified through the social and effective perspective like attitude toward teachers and peers. when they analyzed the distribution of grades according to Kolb’s learning style types. Learning Style and Academic Performance Learning style is the way the students take in and process information. (2001) have shown that academic success and failure in higher education is influenced by “the match between how material is presented and how students process it”. Effective teaching requires a thorough understanding of the . and reaction to classroom procedures. Castro and Peck (2005) carried out a study on learning styles and learning difficulties that foreign language students face at the college level and claim that student’s prefererence for learning style can help or hinder success in a foreign language classroom. they found no significant correlation between learning style and grades.24 (Diaz and Cartnal. However. Drysdale et al. 1999). In a similar vein. They also found a correlation between learning style and increased levels of GPA. Understanding one’s learning style can improve the student’s learning effectiveness in and outside of the classroom (Carbonel. 2008). Dunn et al. Learners have different learning styles. (1995) found that making students aware of their learning style and helping them develop study skills compatible with their preferred learning style had a positive affect on academic performance. Griggs and Dunn (1996) claimed that students who learn from an approach compatible with their preferred learning style experience greater academic achievement and had more positive attitude towards learning.

characteristics of students at different stages of development. and achievement refer to what a person can do.. (1995) showed that students whose learning styles were accommodated in teaching methodologies were characterized by learning achievements higher than students whose styles were not accommodated (75 percent of a standard deviation). Dunn et al. which points they will emphasize. etc. energized and productive. 1997). factors that influence motivation. When a person is engaged in academic work that does not matter with his learning styles. Laurillard (1994) showed . tools. and procedures for maintaining orderly classrooms. The combined evidence from the analysis conducted by Dunn et al. 1994). whereas skill. Similarly. instruction. individual differences. (1995) conducted a meta-analysis of results across 42 experimental studies designed to determine the value of teaching students through their own learning style preferences. working with nursing students. the task seems easy and the person is motivated. and how they will present content to their students (Eggen & Kauchak. affordances of the tasks. When a person’s learning styles are compatible with his learning environments (i. Learning styles refer to the way people use the abilities they have. Teachers rely on this background when they make decisions about what they will teach. the work is arduous and draining (Sternberg.).25 learning process. it was concluded that matching student learning style preferences with instructional method is clearly advantageous to the academic achievement of the respondents.e. Using quantitative methods to compare across the different studies. Learning styles refer to what a person prefers to do. The optimal conditions for learning include a good fit between learning styles and learning environments. ability.

depending on their level of self-directedness or dependence. Instructional strategies can be developed around an understanding of learning styles and preferences in any given learning context. The notion that individuals use different styles in different . In their review of cognitive style. However. Sarasin (1998) noted that instructors should be willing to change their teaching strategies and techniques based on an appreciation of the variety of student learning styles. “Teachers should try to ensure that their methods. by providing greater social interaction during learning where the group style would indicate that is preferred. and that learning style can be influenced by educational experience. and more or less hands-on learning tasks. they also argue that some learning styles appear to be more suited to workplace learning and the performance of certain duties than other styles. Sternberg and Grigorenko (1997) have observed that everyone possesses every style to some degree. an extensive study by Hayes and Allinson (1997) led them to the conclusion that the matching of learning styles to teaching methods in the workplace positively influences learning outcome.26 that a group of students provided with learning opportunities based on their identified learning style preferences achieved statistically significantly higher grades than did a control group of students provided with homogeneous instructional methodology. depending on their level of preference for that or for more verbal forms of learning (Diaz and Cartnal. and that people will use different styles in different learning situations. materials and resources fit the ways in which their students learn and maximize the learning potential of each student”. 1999). In the same way. by providing more or less guidance and structure to students.

A significant relationship between achievement and epistemological . Furthermore. 1997). Predictors of Academic Performance Epistemological Beliefs In the field of education. It has been assumed that—similar to motivational constructs. Santos (2008) found that students who have high academic achievement tended to hold more positive learning styles. and factors such as the choice of learning have been proposed as mediating mechanisms. majority of them are independent and participative while those students who have low academic achievement were mostly dependent and avoidant. In a study conducted among 120 high school students taking Biology. they showed significant positive effect on their academic achievement. the more these students are given activities by themselves. Students headed towards high academic achievement when activities were designed for the students to work individually or in collaboration with others with minimum supervision from their teacher. On the other hand.27 accommodating learning styles support document situations has also been proposed by Laurillard (1993) and Kolb (1986). that is. The same findings were observed among 100 senior high school students in the study of Ayuste and Duran (2009). epistemological beliefs have been an important construct for the past two decades and have frequently been used to predict achievement or achievementrelated behavior (Buehl & Alexander. avoidance and dependence were noticed among students who have low academic achievement. 2001. sophisticated epistemological beliefs will positively affect the learning process. Hofer & Pintrich.

1990). however. the more likely they were to draw conclusions that failed to take into account the inconclusive nature of information provided. the strength of this relationship varies across samples and depends to some degree on the dimensions examined. stable knowledge/certainty. Hofer. When controlling for verbal IQ. neither stable knowledge/certainty nor two other dimensions significantly contributed to the explanation of GPA in either study. Similarly. fixed ability). (1997). 2005).28 beliefs has indeed been found in several non-experimental and experimental studies (e. Ryan. The stronger the students’ beliefs in the certainty of knowledge.. simple knowledge. The effect of the quick learning dimension on academic achievement was confirmed in a longitudinal extension of the Schommer (1993) study by Schommer. 1992). The stable knowledge/certainty dimension did. only the quick learning dimension remained significant. et al. predict inappropriately absolute conclusions in a study of 86 junior college students who completed several comprehension tasks after reading text passages (Schommer. certainty scores on . in the Schommer (1993) study with high school students. For instance. In this study. 2005.g. 1984). However. grade point average (GPA) was significantly negatively predicted by the four dimensions covered in the questionnaire (quick learning. Kardash and Scholes (1996) reported that beliefs about the certainty of knowledge predicted the types of conclusions drawn by high school students (ND96) after reading mixed evidence on a controversial topic (causes of AIDS). However. however. Similarly. The certainty dimension was also significantly related to achievement in a study of 326 first year college students (Hofer. stable knowledge/certainty beliefs were not significantly related to math test performance in a study of 139 undergraduate and graduate students (Schommer et al.

Students’ achievement scores were found to be correlated with their epistemological beliefs. Results of the study showed that most of the students believed tentative nature of science. namely. characteristics of successful students-success. learning approaches and goal orientations. Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire. the lower the students’ academic standing. Regression analysis revealed that learning approaches explained 12% . the structure of knowledge-structure. She used the Turkish versions of Learning Approach Questionnaire. Schommer-Aikins and Easter (2006) conducted a study of 107 college students. In this study. learning approaches on achievement in classification concepts in science. Students’ academic performance was based on their scores on reading comprehension test and a university course grade. The higher their certainty scores. ways of knowing (connected knowing and separate knowing) and epistemological beliefs (beliefs about the speed of knowledge acquisition-speed. the researchers investigated two epistemic paradigms. knowledge construction and modification-construction. Path analysis revealed that the effects of ways of knowing on academic performance are mediated by belief in the speed of learning. In order to obtain a complete understanding of personal epistemology. they utilized meaningful learning approach during their science learning and they liked to learn something new. Kızılgüneş (2007) investigated the predictive influences of 1041 sixth grade students’ epistemological beliefs. and attainability of truth-truth). Achievement Motivation Questionnaire and Classification Concept Test.29 both domain-general and domain-specific measures were the strongest predictors of academic achievement. achievement motivation. and its predictive power on academic performance.

(2000) also investigated the predictive value of epistemological beliefs in students GPA scores. to ensure that students with GPA scores were not substantially different from the entire sample. Schommer. Since the researchers revealed that the students with available GPA scores were found comparable with the entire sample. It can be concluded that there was a relationship between students’ epistemological beliefs and their general achievement in school. the researchers conducted chi-square analysis to compare students with and without GPA scores information. et al. Similarly. There were no significant differences obtained for the epistemological beliefs sub-dimension scores. The researchers further tested the representativeness of beliefs of students with obtained GPA information using one way multivariate analysis of variance incorporating the availability of GPA predictor and epistemological belief scores as the criterion measures. in a survey study of 1269 grade 7 and 8 students to examine epistemological beliefs. In order to investigate the predictive value of epistemological beliefs. the less students believed in fixed ability to . No significant differences were found for gender or for grade level in school. more specifically. belief in fixed ability and belief in quick learning. the variable accounting for the largest variance entered the equation. At each step of the analysis. students’ GPA scores were regressed on epistemological beliefs scores in stepwise regression. Therefore. Two of the predictor variables were found significant. Only some part of the students’ GPA scores could be obtained from school records. The students in the study completed the revised version of Schommer’s epistemological beliefs questionnaire.30 of the variance and epistemological beliefs explained two percent of the variance in students’ achievement. they continued with the regression analysis.

2005). the better GPA they had.15. Learning Styles Learning approaches can generally be defined as the learners’ ideas or conceptions of learning. Rozman. Similar to the findings of the other studies in the literature. the certainty beliefs in the model had a negative significant effect on final school grade (β = .46). how they experience or define learning. and beliefs about the nature of science relative to science concept understanding and course achievement. Family background. Among the samples of the study.. for the biology major students. p < . and the strategies they use to learn (Cano. meaningful learning was significantly and positively correlated with learning goals (r = . cognitive abilities. Similarly. Cavallo. Blickenstaff and Walker (2003) conducted a study to explore college students’ learning approaches. age. cultural capital. The study was conducted with 291 science major students enrolled in biology or one of two different physics courses. were used as the predictors of certainty beliefs and final school grade as an indicator of achievement. gender. The certainty beliefs were specified to be mediating the influence of cognitive abilities and family background on final school grades. Rote learning was significantly and positively correlated with performance . Biggs (1991) described learning approaches as the ways students use through their academic tasks that have an influence on the learning outcome. The fit of this hypothetical model was found to be good. motivational goals. Trautwein and Ludtke (2007) examined the role of certainty beliefs as predictors of school achievement using structural equation modeling. reasoning abilities.001).31 learn and quick learning.

which means that high performance goals were related to beliefs that science is fixed and authoritative. prior knowledge and attitudes towards chemistry. the Misunderstanding Test was used. Diseth and Martinsen (2003) analyzed the relationship among approaches to learning .23. it was found that for biology students. The typical week of the course included one laboratory period and four lecture periods. Boujaoude (1992) conducted a study to investigate the relationship between high school students’ learning approaches. they found that performance goals were significantly and negatively correlated with epistemological beliefs (r = -. Moreover. For biology students meaningful learning and tentative view of science were positively related to learning goals. Also. The researcher observed the students for 16 weeks by attending eighty 50-minute classes of a chemistry course.05). This means that these variables may underlie the motivation to learn for just learning.35). p < . In order to assess their approaches to learning. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was applied to data in order to determine variables which were the best predictors of performance on the Misunderstanding Post Test. The results showed that the students’ performance on the misunderstanding pretest (36%) and their learning approaches (14%) accounted a statistically significant proportion of the variance on their performance in the misunderstanding posttest.37) and negatively correlated with learning goals (r = -. learning goals and scientific epistemological views were positively correlated with course grade. the reasoning ability.32 goals (r = . The Learning Approach Questionnaire developed by Donn was used. and their performance on a misunderstanding test. Forty-nine high school students enrolled in the study. To diagnose students’ misunderstandings about science.

06. The sample of the study consists of 156 male and 248 female students from a private university.05.33 (deep. motives and styles had only indirect effects on achievement. Contrary to the expectations and the other studies in the literature. The model showed that deep approach to learning did not significantly predict academic achievement.19. The results showed that deep and achieving sub-scale scores were positively related to academic . strategic and surface approaches predicted academic achievement significantly in the model (r1 = . Results of the correlation analysis showed that both the surface approach (r = -. strategic. surface). A part of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students was used to measure students’ learning approaches as deep. r2 = -. As a result of the study. As a measure of academic achievement.23. for strategic and surface approaches respectively). p < . and academic achievement. it was found that approaches to learning predicted academic achievement. The total set of variables was analyzed using structural equation modeling to investigate their interrelationships and their relationship to academic achievement simultaneously. In their study. cognitive style. 192 undergraduate psychology students participated. Diseth and Martinsen (2003) found that deep approach to learning did not predict academic achievement.19.05) correlated with the academic achievement significantly. Bernardo (2003) investigated the influence of learning approaches to learning on academic achievement of Filipino college students. however. p < . As evidenced by the correlation analysis. strategic and surface approaches to learning. the students’ grade point averages (GPA) were used. motives.05) and the strategic approach (r = . p < . while strategic and surface approaches significantly predicted achievement. The researcher used Biggs’ Learning Approach Questionnaire to assess students’ approaches to learning.

However. Sadler-Smith (1996) investigated if students’ study approaches predicted their academic success and also the effects of gender. Results revealed moderately high positive correlations between deep and strategic orientations and between surface and lack of direction orientations. and strategic approach. whereas surface motive sub-scale scores and achievement were found to be negatively correlated. and their overall end of semester scores aggregated across 12 modules were used. and essay). As the indicators of academic success both the students’ end of semester scores on a core module assessed by a variety of methods (course work. statistically significant correlation was obtained for the overall academic performance and deep approach. multiple choice test. For the entire sample of students. deep approach significantly correlated with the aggregate score. and the strategic approach significantly correlated with the test score.34 achievement even when the school ability and prior academic achievement were controlled. lack of direction was found to be significantly correlated with the aggregate score as an indicator of academic success. and for the accounting and finance sub-group. for the subgroups. and program of study on approaches to studying. age. For the business computing sub-group of students. as did the strategic and lack of direction orientations. The sample of the study had a total of 245 business studies students. surface approach. The academic self confidence and surface orientations were found to be correlated negatively. In another study that examined learning approach and academic performance . The respondents’ study approaches were assessed by a 38-item inventory in terms of three primary orientations: deep approach. higher correlations were obtained.

Both meaningful learning and reasoning ability were found to be related with course performance.35 relationship. Cavallo (1996) investigated 189 tenth grade students’ meaningful learning orientation and the relationship among those orientations. In . parents’ occupation and parents’ educational background. The social class origin of students on the average may explain differences in the students’ performance in school. understanding of genetic topics and problem solving ability in a one group pretest-posttest design. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that students’ meaningful learning orientation and reasoning ability predicted scores on the test of understanding genetics topic. According to Velasquez (2007) and Carbonel (2008) the social class of the students is defined by environment that provides different factors such as monthly family income. Results of the correlation analysis showed that there is no significant correlation between students’ meaningful learning orientation and their reasoning ability. The socio-economics conditions under which the parents of the children live are important factors that determine the student’s social background. Moderating Variables Several studies in the past established the relationship of the students’ achievement and their socio-demographic characteristics. Reasoning ability predicted 9% of the variance and meaningful learning orientation predicted 5% of the variance on the tests of understanding genetic topics. In order to assess students’ reasoning ability Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning and to assess their understanding of genetic topics three tests were used. Learning Approach Questionnaire was used to assess students’ learning approaches. their reasoning ability.

2002). certainty beliefs. In the research on epistemological beliefs. Moreover. ICT accessibility. although there likely is a link between cognitive . As pointed out by Wood and Kardash (2002). school's location. personal factors can facilitate or constrain development of epistemological beliefs. results have not been unequivocal. learning styles and academic performance. gender. particularly. Moderating Variables and Epistemological Beliefs The potential moderating role of select socio-demographic characteristics such as age. and parents’ occupation was also considered. the non-significant findings may in part be attributable to the design of the studies in question. these socio-demographic characteristics will be treated as moderating variables that are anticipated to influence students’ epistemological beliefs. However. parents’ educational attainment. There is a clear need to examine these factors and to investigate how they might moderate or change the nature of development (Pintrich. Although epistemological beliefs. family income. but very little to none on the role of school location. In addition. which may decrease the likelihood of finding significant effects.36 this study. Although it is clear that epistemological beliefs change over the long term from less sophisticated to more sophisticated. most studies rely on convenience samples. ICT accessibility and family income may play in the development of such. have been found to predict academic achievement in several studies in the past. there is a fair amount of research on the role of socio-demographic characteristics on achievement level of the students. studies on epistemological beliefs often lack the power to detect small to moderate effect sizes.

That is. Researches that focused on demonstrating importance of gender in epistemological thinking were already studied in the past in connection with one’s academic achievement (Baxter Magolda. Many studies examining the relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic achievement have not taken cognitive abilities into account. when individuals are asked to focus on specific dimensions of epistemological beliefs. 1992. Likewise. 1986). cultural capital) are often disregarded. selfregulation and epistemological beliefs increase over time in order to accommodate the changes brought about by different environmental evolutions.g. Kuhn. However. 1991). Hence. Belenky et al. . characteristics of the family environment that are conducive to academic progress (e. gender does not intervene in any of the relationships existing within these variables. third variable explanations may apply. socioeconomic standing. 1994. rather than more holistic and general ways of thinking. even in the studies that have found link between certainty beliefs and academic achievement.. there are many other studies that find almost no mediating effect of gender in epistemological thinking or beliefs (King & Kitchener. Pintrich (2002) has recently suggested that gender may not be as important determiner in the change of academic achievement of students in association with the epistemological thinking when it is defined in terms of separate dimensions of epistemological beliefs. Gender The growing concern regarding the regulating effect of gender on academic achievement of students as well as other educational constructs such as motivation.37 abilities (intelligence) and epistemological beliefs.

38 In the study of Trautwein and Lüdtke (2006) about the large-scale longitudinal study on the impact of certainty beliefs on the school achievement of college students. This review revealed that between the years 1971 and 1978 not much emphasis was given on gender or equity. gender equity became an important issue in several studies. In 1980s. He argued that the gender did not intercede with the relationship of epistemological beliefs as well as the science achievement of secondary students when gender was considered in his study. gender was investigated with respect to socioeconomic status. and cultural capital on school achievement. they found certainty beliefs to negatively predict school achievement. and curriculum would be implemented. Given that access to highly valued Welds of study is competitive in Germany. the negative effect of certainty beliefs on final school grades was by no means negligible. race and often other variables as well. In late the 1980s. gender and equity in science education have been reviewed since 1971. class. religion. Certainty beliefs partly mediated the impact of cognitive abilities. even when other important variables were controlled. account must be taken of the way gender is constructed in terms of ethnicity. By 1990s. gender.” In Baker’s study (2003). Pintrich (2002) has suggested that there may not be important gender intervention between students’ epistemological thinking and academic performance when the former is described in terms of separate dimensions of epistemological beliefs. Gender effects on personal epistemological beliefs and performance of students have . but this research lacked sociological perspective. Rennie (1998) argued that “if the issue of gender is to be considered effectively in science teaching. topics. researchers became interested in creating a school environment in which girl-friendly instructional strategies.

it is clear that at the same stage of the epistemological development females’ epistemological development is less complex than those of males with respect to authority. Belenky et al. 2007. Schommer and Dunnell. In some studies.. Buehl et al. females view knowledge as handed down by authority while males view knowledge as mastering what is handed down by authority. on the other hands. 2006. Mason et al. King and Kitchener. Baxter Magolda (1992).39 been studied by a few researchers. 1991). Studies such as those of Cano (2005). 1994. Meanwhile. 2008a. 2006. 1993). Those. Schommer. . In this argument. although there were studies made in the past pertaining to the intervening influence of gender. and Belenky et al. 2000. Kuhn and Weinstock. Hofer. inconclusive reports were made regarding a series of research that focused on the students’ epistemological beliefs and performance in science. (1986) argued that at the early developmental stage of personal epistemology. (1986) have found important intercession of gender divergence in epistemological beliefs and science achievement of students. Schommer’s (1993b) study investigated gender influence on students’ epistemological beliefs and academic achievement where girls were less likely to believe in quick learning and fixed ability than the boys but this was statistically arbitrating in the relationship between the students’ belief in simple and certain knowledge as well as their achievement in science. 2002. other studies found almost no gender influence in epistemological thinking or beliefs and academic accomplishment of students (Phan. females showed more advanced beliefs than males and relatively showed a more improved performance in school (Lodewyk. Kuhn. On the contrary. 1994.

40 Age Studies of Conley, et al. (2004) and Schommer- Aikins, et al. (2005) started to study younger students’ epistemological beliefs to test the hypothesis that students develop epistemological beliefs at early ages. It was argued that there should be a link between children’s theory of mind and epistemological thinking (Chandler et al., 2002). Conley et al. (2004) study demonstrated that elementary school students’ epistemological beliefs about science changed over time, hence, their academic achievement in science. After a nine-week science course about chemical properties of substances taught with emphasis on science process skills instruction, the students develop more sophisticated beliefs about both the source and certainty of knowledge. At this age level, development of the students’ epistemological beliefs can be fostered by hands-on or inquiry oriented instruction. Related to students’ academic achievement, it was found that maturing students tend to be high achiever in science when they developed more sophisticated epistemological beliefs. In another study, Schommer-Aikins et al. (2005) observed that multidimensional model is applicable for middle grade students. They found that as students get older, quick learning and innate ability were observed as distinct factors in improving their science performance. In younger students, these two factors emerged as a single factor. It was stated that young children have a global theory of mind whereas older students’ mind possessed knowledge as processes and components. Again at this age level studying aimlessly was found as another factor in which younger students believed that learning occurs as chance not as a strategic activity. Related to the achievement variable, authors found that both beliefs in

41 quick learning and innate ability are predictors of students’ mathematical problem solving ability. Earlier studies in high school (Schommer, 1993) and college levels (Schommer, 1990), demonstrated that the development of more sophisticated epistemological beliefs mediated by their age resulted in better use of mathematical problem solving skills and comprehension of complex text. Schommer-Aikins et al. (2005) also found that general epistemological beliefs and mathematical beliefs affect students’ mathematical performance and overall academic achievement.

Parents’ Educational Attainment In the path analysis regarding family environment, epistemological beliefs, learning strategies, and academic performance of students, Cano and Cardelle-Ellawar (2008) specified that parents’ educational level and family’s intellectual climate are two possible roots of epistemological beliefs about the speed and effort involved in learning, which in their turn influence students’ learning strategies and academic performance and mediate the effects of family variables. The results of path analysis suggested that some family characteristics can predict children’s epistemological beliefs. The lower the educational level of the parents, the more likely their children will develop naïve beliefs about quick, effortless learning, a result which is in agreement with those of Schommer (1990, 1993a). They observed that these beliefs depend not only on parents’ educational attainments, but also on how these attainments are converted into an interest in social, cultural, political, and intellectual activities (family intellectual–cultural climate). The better the family’s intellectual climate, the more sophisticated the child’s beliefs about learning and the higher

42 their performance academically. Although this finding is broadly consistent with those of Schommer (1990, 1993b) as regards family upbringing, it goes somewhat too far. Further, family characteristics were also directly related to the cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies that students engage in their school learning, and to the academic achievement they attain. However, they suggested differentiating between family’s intellectual climate, which is linked to all the learning strategies but not to academic performance, and parents’ educational level, which is associated only with surface strategy but predicts academic performance. The present pattern of results is in line with those of the literature (Adams et al., 2000; Cool & Keith, 1991; Ryan & Adams, 1995; Cano, 2007). In their study, Kardash and Howell (2000) proposed that more important aspect of mediating variables’ influence is the indirect effects more than its direct effect. The latter showed clearly that a family related variables such as parents’ educational attainment and occupation mediate the influence of quick and effortless learning on children’s learning strategies and academic performance. Parents’ educational level and family’s intellectual climate show roughly similar indirect effects, except for those on metacognitive learning strategies, which are greater. The belief referred to is also indirectly related to surface strategy and academic performance, but most strongly to metacognitive learning strategies: Students whose families encourage discussion and an interest in culture and that are intellectually inclined appear to predispose their children to have mature beliefs about learning and indirectly predispose them to deploy strategies aimed at regulating and controlling their learning (which in turn is the variable with the highest positive impact on academic performance). Previous research shows the mediator role of epistemological beliefs

43 on comprehension test performance (Schommer et al., 1992).

Monthly Family Income Studies were started to investigate the relationship among socioeconomic status, students’ beliefs in learning and academic performance. Earlier understanding of sociocultural variables including the status of the family indicated a very important issue for researchers. In this understanding, it is clear that family condition had been investigated in relations with other variables such as cognitive abilities, attitudinal variables, sociocultural variables, and home-family factors (Kahle & Meece, 1994). Cano and Cardelle-Ellawar (2008) found that the students’ belief in quick, effortless learning mediated the influence of family variables on surface strategy, metacognitive learning strategies and academic performance. The better the family’s intellectual climate, the higher the students’ mature beliefs about learning, and consequently, their deep and metacognitive strategies and academic performance. Research on home-family variables such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and parental education revealed that these variables mediates on the students’ belief in authority and quick learning and students’ science achievement. Family background exerted its

regulative influence in science achievement in an indirect way through the availability of economic capacity, the quality of home environment, parents’ educational and occupational aspirations, and the quality of the schools attended. In a longitudinal study, Trautwein and Ludtke (2007) examined the relationship between epistemological beliefs, specifically the certainty of knowledge and school achievement and

44 the subject choice of college majors of German students. Results of the study showed that certainty beliefs were found to be correlated significantly and negatively with family socioeconomic status (r = -.09, p < .05), cultural capital (r = -.17, p < .05), cognitive abilities (r = -.18, p < .05), and final school grades (r = -.23, p < .05). There was no significant correlation between certainty beliefs and age or gender. The researchers further examined the role of certainty beliefs as predictors of school achievement using structural equation modeling. The family socio-economic status was specified to be mediating the influence of cognitive abilities and certainty beliefs on final school grades. Family background, cultural capital, cognitive abilities, gender, age, were used as the predictors of certainty beliefs and final school grade as an indicator of achievement.

School Location Students’ environment including the geographical location of the school, its cultural facet and as well as the authoritative influence has been always been illustrated in the past studies to be one of the learners’ determining factors associated with their performance. School environment was described as the social atmosphere in which learning takes place (Johnson & McClure, 2004). There is an increasing recognition about the importance of the classroom environments in education research over the past 30 years in terms of conceptualization, assessment, and investigation of students’ perceptions of the learning environments at elementary, secondary and also higher education levels (Alridge, Fraser, & Huang, 1999). Lederman and Druger (1985) investigated the Biology classroom characteristics

45 affecting the students’ epistemological views and academic achievement in science. They specifically focused on students’ views related to the developing nature of science. They found that the significant relationship between students’ epistemological views and performance in Biology were affected by classroom characteristics such as a supportive environment, openness to students’ thoughts and questions, students-teacher interaction, an environment relating school science subjects to everyday life, using a variety of instructional media and use of inquiry-oriented questions during instruction, characteristics which were equally found in both rural and urban settings. The researchers concluded that instructional climate and teachers’ approach affect students’ beliefs about the nature of knowledge. In the Philippines, a clear example why majority of students located in rural areas perform poorly is that the schools where they are studying are most of the time inadequately providing them with enough resources that would enhance their performance in school. The lack of reading centers or establishments such as public libraries and lack of access to internet often hold the students from being open to the acquisition of more knowledge thus having poor performance. The wide range of differences between urban regions and rural regions, between developed regions and developing regions have been discussed in view of teacher opinion (Pei, 2004), sub-cultures (Teng, 2003) and economy development (Zhu, 2003).

In his study, Cheng, R. C. (1994) hypothesized a model in which epistemological beliefs and learning environment in both urban and rural locations were assumed to influence academic achievement directly, and furthermore epistemological beliefs influence academic

The teachers' belief about learning may also be one of the determinants of how students have mental construct or their own epistemological beliefs. Epistemological beliefs also influenced achievement indirectly by the moderating effect of the learning environment of students. In their study. Results of the study showed that both epistemological beliefs and learning environment influenced students’ achievement directly. . Martin and Yin (1999) examined the mediating influence of classroom management beliefs and found that rural teachers adapted to a significantly higher extent of teacher induced interventionist instructional approach. The geographical area where teachers teach has been reported to be an important factor influencing students’ beliefs. The institutional context where teachers work has an effect on the educational beliefs of teachers as well (Lim & Torr. This strong relationship was found to have been induced by the indirect or mediating effect of school’s related factors to the beliefs of the students. A hidden variable in the former study is whether schools are positioned in a developed or developing province. 2007). while urban teachers adopted significantly more student based interventionist approach.46 achievement indirectly through the effect of learning environment such as those induced by teachers and the cultural characteristics of the school. It was found that those students in the urban setting had more positive academic achievement relative to their beliefs in quick and simple learning and certainty of knowledge. Nisbet and Grimbeek (2004) argued that school location and the related school size is expected to have a mediating effect on primary teachers’ beliefs and practices and therefore may influence how their students believe in the acquisition of knowledge.

Pieschl et al. . The results of this study indicate that epistemological beliefs and self-regulated learning skills among online learners may be associated with each other and each in turn associated with academic achievement. In finding a significant association. The positive relationship among these variables was significantly moderated by their knowledge in manipulating online lessons. (2007) investigated the relationship between the epistemological beliefs. In another study. the development of self-regulated learning skills is particularly important as the online learning environment has been indicated as requiring students to employ more self-regulated learning skills (Fisher & Baird.47 Information and Communication Technology Research has suggested that the epistemological beliefs of learners may influence the learning processes that students choose to engage in (Hofer. which have been referred to as acts of self-regulated learning. they suggest that educators must be aware of the epistemological beliefs of learners in order to successfully implement self-regulated learning activities in the online learning environment. Tsai and Chuang (2005) explored the association between epistemological beliefs and the meta-cognitive learning preferences among learners in the online environment. The study presented an examination of the relationship between epistemological beliefs and self-regulated learning skills associated with academic achievement as mediated by their knowledge of manipulating online lessons. 2001). In the online learning environment. 2005). self-regulated learning behaviors and performance among biology students learning the topic of genetics with hypertext. They found that more sophisticated or more constructivist-oriented epistemological beliefs were significantly associated with students being able to process more information as well as being associated with more positive learning outcomes.

Males tend to be more kinesthetic and tactual. They are more non-conforming and peer motivated than females. and if they have third modality strength. Females also tend to need significantly more quietness while learning (Pizzo et al. . Females tend to be relatively conforming and either self-. The study by Philbin et al. women were found to predominantly correspond to the Diverger/Converger group while men preferred the Assimilator style. In the study. tend to be auditory. 1995). more than males. Females. 1990). (1995) includes findings of a significant mediation in the learning styles of men and women surveyed. 1995). and better able to sit passively in conventional classroom desks and chairs.48 Moderating Variables and Learning Styles Gender Gender has been found to exert its moderating effect on the students’ learning styles. are more selfmotivated and conform more than males. Males also need more mobility in a more informal environment than females (Dunn & Griggs. authority-oriented. it is often visual. or teacher-motivated (Dunn & Griggs. parent-. (1977) study on cognitive learning styles found a potential role of gender as a moderating aspect of learning style – field dependence and field independence while Logan & Thomas (2002) found gender in learning styles among distance education students undertaking computing has been a potential demonstrator in the variation of learning styles among male and female students. Witkin et al.

In the study exploring the learning styles of Business students (Australian and NESBs) to determine if the relationship between their performance in school and their preferred learning orientations is affected by cross-cultural and other demographic differences such as gender and age. Dorsey and Pierson (1984) found that age influenced the relationship between the students’ learning styles and their academic performance. students . temperature preferences. it appears that it changes with age and experience. Emotional preferences can include motivation which fluctuates from day to day. Clearly the intervening effect of age is clearly seen as the students get more mature in school. 1995). Moreover. Individuals’ sociological. Researches of Daughenbaugh (1985) and McCarthy (1985). then the student’s motivation will be greater. Teo (2002) pointed out that the learning styles of the Australian Business students were related to their academic performance. class to class. If a student is interested in a topic and the presenter’s teaching style matches the student’s learning style. Sound preferences. Sociological preferences could be an individual’s choice whether to learn alone or with a group.49 Age Learning styles may change as individuals grow older (Dunn & Griggs. and teacher to teacher. While learning style has been defined as a consistent pattern of behavior. showed that students’ preference for learning and teaching styles were found moderated by both age group and gender. and seating preferences also change as individuals get older (Dunn & Griggs. 1995). Some individuals change uniquely and then some do not change at all as they get older. Further. emotional and physiological preferences change as a person gets older.

Matured students (41-50 years age group) scored highest in their learning interest when compared with the younger age groups. learning approaches and academic performance of the students. school location. Results of study showed that when students perceived their course unit to be generally supportive and encouraging of their learning. concerned with their capacity to learn independently. School Location There are some studies in the past particularly focused on the relationship between learning environment and students’ learning approaches. they tended to use deeper approaches to study which in turn pushes their academic performance positively. It was stated that students’ perceptions of the learning approach that influenced their performance. 1991). Dart and his colleagues (2000) conducted a study investigating the relationship between learning environments and students’ learning approaches and academic performance. and supportive of study practices expected of higher education.50 who were less than 20 years scored lowest in their Pragmatist learning orientation. (1996) found that there is a relationship between students’ learning approaches. whether they tackle it in a . was necessarily mediated by the learning environment (Enwistle. The perception of students related to the learning environment directly determines approach of learning and academic performance. teacher’s instructional processes and form of assessment. Campbell et al. Results of their study found that relationship between students’ academic achievement and learning approaches was significantly moderated by the effect exerted by the third variable. Similarly. Another line of research in the classroom environment literature particularly focused the relationship between learning environment. sensitive to students’ mental processing in learning.

51 superficial way or strive for meaning (Eley. 1990. Ramsden. Trigwell & Prosser. . 1990. 1992. 1979. Enwistle & Tait.1991).

she suggested that personal epistemology is comprised of five distinct factors that exist on continua. and that more naïve beliefs predict poorer academic performance. In Schommer-Aikins’ early work (Schommer. ranging from complete trust to educated skepticism. and omniscient authority. innate ability. these factors were: simple knowledge. She also believed that these . while learners with more sophisticated beliefs acknowledge that some topics take time and effort. Finally. quick learning. certain knowledge. 1990). Stated from their naïve pole. the omniscient authority factor. Beliefs about learning ability range from the view that such ability is innate and unchanging to one that acknowledged the benefits of hard work and self-improvement. examining issues from multiple perspectives). writing essays. distinct from the previous beliefs regarding knowledge and learning. Beliefs in certain knowledge range from those who hold that all knowledge is concrete and certain to those who acknowledge the dynamic and changing nature of knowledge. the simple knowledge continuum stemmed from the belief that all knowledge is rudimentary to the belief that knowledge was complex.g. particularly on those tasks involving complex or nuanced topics (e. 1990) hypothesized that individuals’ positions on these factors are relatively independent.52 METHODOLOGY Theoretical and Conceptual Framework This study is anchored on Schommer-Aikins (2004) embedded theory of epistemological beliefs where five factors of personal epistemology would be analyzed in conjunction with other cognitive and affective learner characteristics. deals with an individual’s faith in authority figures. Briefly. Schommer-Aikins (Schommer. Those who scored towards the naïve pole of quick knowledge thionk that learning happens quickly or not at all.

As such. 2004). they . 2005. An extensive body of research addresses beliefs about knowledge and learning or epistemological beliefs (Elby.. thus. that is. Schommer-Aikins (2004) advocated an embedded theory of epistemological beliefs where she called for more integrative investigations into the relations between epistemological beliefs and other constructs of interest to educational psychologists. Hewson 1985). 2003). She emphasized the need for an embedded systemic model of epistemological beliefs. comes from the assumption that epistemological beliefs do not function in a vacuum (Greene et al. 2005.53 epistemological beliefs are domain-general. Roth and Roychoudury. Paulsen & Feldman. 2001. Theories of personal epistemology suggest that students with simplistic or naïve beliefs about knowledge may struggle with more nuanced academic subjects. strategy use and motivation (Hofer. Schommer-Aikins. As the students define their learning in accordance with their own beliefs. it is important to test personal epistemology's influence in the presence of other constructs that are important to learning such as self-efficacy. a model that includes many other aspects of cognition and affect. affecting their academic performance (Muis. 2005). 1997. 1999. In recent publication. 2004) allow for the prediction of the interrelationship between beliefs about knowledge and learning (epistemological beliefs) may have on learning approaches/styles and classroom performance. The recommendations and research of others (Hoffer. These studies found that students' epistemological beliefs about scientific knowledge and learning have important influence on their approach to learning. How individuals view knowledge and learning will logically seem to have an influence on their beliefs on how to engage on academic tasks.

ICT accessibility. This study tried to find out if the learner's beliefs mirror his own style of learning. it is important that a student understands himself in order to explore his inner self. Age and gender are biological and social factors. the student’s personal epistemological beliefs and learning styles shape the learner’s capacity to perceive and handle information and interpret it in line with their own mental construct. sociocultural and environmental elements (De Guzman. if more sophisticated learners who construct their own meaning would have the tendency to become independent in the learning process. 2005. Personal epistemological beliefs play an important role in one’s learning process. parents’ educational background. In the light of this study. his own perspectives and his own assumptions about his experiences in and out of the classroom as his source of knowledge. On the other hand.54 develop their own manner or style in acquiring knowledge. Together. The modification in the relationship between the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs and academic performance are perceived to be the effect of link among biological. For example. parents’ occupation are environmental factors. those who held naïve beliefs have high regard of authority and believe that the ability to learn is fixed at birth may have the tendency to practice avoidant and dependent learning styles. These students develop their distinctive behavior which serves as an indicator or person’s mediation utilities and capacities (Gregor. 2001). School's location. They were chosen as moderator variables between learning styles and academic performance and between epistemological beliefs and academic performance. This study was anchored on the assumptions that students' ways of conceiving and . family income. 1978). as cited by Leoveras. Ickens and Layden.

parents’ occupation as moderator variables. academic performance). gender. It also presents age. Consequently. ICT accessibility. school's location. gender. this study was also conceptualized to find out whether learning styles and epistemological beliefs would predict the academic performance of the students in Biology.academic performance and epistemological beliefsacademic performance links are affected by moderation of the students’ age. parents’ educational background. parents’ educational background. parents’ educational attainment. Independent Variables . Students’ age. learning styles and epistemological beliefs) and the dependent variable (i.55 espousing knowledge (epistemological belief) and recognizing and meting out concepts and experiences to learn (learning styles) correlate with their academic performance. school's location.e. school's location. ICT accessibility. ICT accessibility. parents’ occupation were the moderator variables. monthly family income. It also assumed that this learning style. Learning styles and epistemological beliefs were the independent variables whereas academic performance was the dependent variable. and parents’ occupation. gender. monthly family income.e. monthly family income. Figure 1 shows the hypothesized relationships between the independent variables (i.

dependent and moderator variables . Diagram of the hypothesized relationships among independent.56 Dimensions LEARNING STYLES Dependent Independent Collaborative Participant Avoidant Competitive Certainty of Knowledge Simple Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS Types Naïve Emergent Sophisticated Moderating variables Gender Age School’s Location ICT Accessibility Monthly Family Income Parents’ Educational Background Parents’ Occupation V a r i a M o d e r a t i n g Academic Performance in Biology Dependent Variable Figure 1.

acquired gradually.57 Operational Definition of Terms To better understand the research concepts. and that the ability to learn can be changed. Academic Performance refers to the final grade obtained by the students in Biology. The following categorization was used: Qualitative Description High Academic Performance Average Academic Performance Low Academic Performance Range 88 and above 80 . Sophisticated Beliefs refer to the beliefs that knowledge is tentative. handed down by authority. several terms in this study were operationally defined. simple. . derived by reason. 1997). Emergent Beliefs refer to the beliefs consisting of combined characteristics found in sophisticated and naïve beliefs. Naïve Beliefs refer to the beliefs that knowledge is absolute.87 below 80 Epistemological beliefs refer to how individuals come to know. and the manner in which such epistemological premises are part of and an influence on cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning (Hofer & Pintrich. the theories and beliefs they have about knowing. complex. acquired quickly or not at all and that the ability to learn is fixed at birth.

Quick Learning ranges from knowledge is acquired quickly or not-at-all to knowledge is acquired gradually. Statements towards sophisticated beliefs are scored reversely. emergent with 65-112 points and naïve with 113-160 points. Innate Ability ranges from the ability to learn is fixed at birth to the ability to learning can be changed. students are categorized to be sophisticated when he gains 32-64 points. . Omniscient Authority ranges from knowledge is handed down by authority to knowledge is derived through reason. Schommer (1990) identified five of them namely: Certainty of Knowledge ranges from knowledge is absolute to knowledge is tentative. The EBI is scored on a 5point Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Epistemological Belief Inventory (EBI) is a research instrument used to determine respondents’ epistemological beliefs in Biology. Based upon the scoring range from 32-160 points. Higher scores indicate a person is more naïve. Simple Knowledge ranges from knowledge is organized as isolated bits and pieces to knowledge is organized as highly interwoven concepts. acquisition and processing of knowledge.58 Epistemological belief dimensions refer to the aspect of personal epistemological belief that simultaneously occur in a more or less independent fashion in a person’s belief of the nature.

collaborative. Independent students are curious and confident learners. In this study. dependent. Each dimension of learning styles has 10 questions where the students can obtain scores ranging from 10 – 50 points. This. . 2007): Independent refers to the student’s learning style that prefers to work alone and require a little direction from the teacher.59 For statements leaning towards naive epistemological beliefs. As an instrument. namely: independent. in turn. reverse scoring was applied to statements gearing towards sophisticated epistemological beliefs: Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree –1 –2 –3 –4 –5 Learning Styles refer to how the students learn best. it uses 60 questions with 10 equally distributed questions per style. The following are the descriptions of each learning style (Velasquez. It categorized student’s learning styles into six categories. These are measured through a 5-point disagree-agree scale. the Grasha-Reichmann learning style was used. agreement being high. participative and competitive. They prefer to work on their own in individual activities. the following scoring were used: Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree –5 –4 –3 –2 –1 On the other hand. avoidant. identifies each student with one predominantly style depending on the dimension where he scored high.

60 Dependent refers to the student’s learning style whereby students who have this style see the teacher as a source of information. Collaborative refers to the learning styles where students work well with others and enjoy cooperative learning and working in groups.40 . and learn only what is required. Range and Description of the Mean refers to the scale that indicates the level of agreement for both the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs.19 4. because some statements under the students’ epistemological beliefs were oriented towards sophisticated pole.79 1. reverse range and description of the mean was utilized. 1.20 .80 .2.19 Moderately Agree 4.00 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree .39 3.40 . It consists of numerical values and qualitative descriptions.1.00 .20 . enjoy learning. They cooperate with teachers and like to work with others. and take responsibility on their own learning. they tend to have high absenteeism and take a little responsibility on their learning.4.4. Students who have this learning style enjoy competitive activities.59 Moderately Disagree 2.39 Undecided 3.2. Participative refers to the learning style of students who show eagerness to learn course content.5.59 2. Competitive refers to the learning style of the students where students see the classroom as a win-lose situation in which they must win. Avoidant refers to the learning style of the students who tend to be at the lower end of the grade distribution.00 .3. The scale below shows the reverse range and description of the mean: 1.5.80 .3.1.60 .60 . want to be told what to do.00 Strongly Agree In addition to this.79 Strongly Disagree 1.

and parents’ occupation. school's location. ICT accessibility. Gender refers to whether the respondent is male or female. engineering. parents’ educational attainment.61 Moderator Variables refer to the third variable that modifies the original relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. family income. It was categorized as “low family income” if it falls below and within the mean and “high family income” if above the mean. nursing. These include the respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics such as age. educational electronic gadgets. Parents’ Educational Attainment refers to the highest academic achievement attained by the parents of the respondents. gender. Parents’ Occupation refers to the job. Monthly Family Income refers to the monthly total gross income from all sources of the family. White collar job refers to those where activities are performed using managerial. reading centers and libraries. Parents’ occupation may be categorized as blue collar or white collar jobs. mental or professional skills like teaching. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility refers to students’ access to information and communication technology such as internet. Age refers to the specific age of the respondents at the time they took Biology (SY 2009-2010). work or occupation of the respondents’ parents. .

Research Design This study used an explanatory research design employing multiple regression analysis to explore the potential influence of learning styles and epistemological beliefs as predictors of Biology performance of students in the secondary schools of CLSU. municipal library and reading center. driver. Non-earners refer to occupation which has no wage or salary like retired employee and homemaking. The researcher specifically investigated the correlation between academic performance and (a) learning styles and (b) epistemological belief of the respondents. It also used descriptive-correlational analysis to describe the interrelationship of learning styles. muscular application of unskilled. utility worker and laborer. School's Location refers to school's area classification as to rural or urban. In the context of this study. barber.62 architecture. urban schools are those nearer to the town proper where there are several places that serve as sources of additional information for the respondents such as internet cafe. learning styles and epistemological beliefs were determined. On the other hand. baker. epistemological beliefs and academic performance of the students. . rural schools are those located at least 8 kilometers away from the town proper and those which are deemed the opposite of the other classification. Blue collar job refers to those people’s occupations involving manual. semi-skilled or highly skilled labor like farmer. Profiles of the respondents' academic performance.

The distribution of the respondents by school location is found in Table 1. Using the formula of population sampling as cited by De Guzman (2005). school’s location. Table 1. The Sample The respondents were students from the three laboratory high schools of CLSU (ULHS-Bibiclat.63 Moreover. a total of 147 students or 61% was identified. Distribution of respondents by school location . A total of 147 students who were randomly chosen from the Biology classes of the five high schools for SY 2009-2010 were requested to participate in the survey. n = N / 1 + Ne2. the researcher figured out the appropriate percentage from the total number of population in each school. The respondents took their Biology subject during the S. the Agricultural Science and Technology School and the University Science High School. from the total population of 240 Biology students from the five high schools of CLSU. where n is the total sample. parents’ educational background and parents’ occupation were considered. monthly family income. Based on the formula. N is the total population and e represents margin of error (5%). ICT accessibility. ULHS-Palusapis and ULHS-Pinili). the researcher determined whether or not the predictability of academic achievement from learning styles and epistemological belief was improved when age. 2009-2010. sex.Y. Random sampling was used to identify the respondents and to gather the needed data.

Pinili Urban ASTS USHS Total 25 72 240 15 44 147 49 50 44 30 31 27 Total population per school Sample size Instrumentation This study used a questionnaire divided into three parts. monthly family income. Part II constituted statements pertaining to the personal epistemological beliefs in Biology of the respondents. parents’ educational background. (b) Student’s responses to Grasha-Reichmann Learning Style Inventory and (c) Students’ responses to Epistemological Beliefs Inventory (adapted from Schraw et al. Sources of data for this study came from: (a) Student's Permanent Record. gender. includes the list of statements that identifies the learning styles of the respondents in Biology.Palusapis ULHS . on the other hand. ICT accessibility. Part I comprises the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents inquiring the age. parents’ occupation and the respondent’s final grade in Biology.64 School / Location Rural ULHS . Student's Permanent Record . school's location. Part III.Bibiclat ULHS . 2002).

and participative. These data were treated as moderating variables. avoidant. Socio-Demographic Characteristics The first part of the research instrument sought information regarding the respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics. parents’ educational background.65 To authenticate the grades indicated by the respondents in the survey questionnaire. gender. The students’ permanent record is an official document which contains information regarding the student's academic performance during the school year. and dependent which were thought to be negative. Grasha-Reichmann Learning Style Inventory (adapted from Grasha-Reichmann et al. the researcher requested the transcript of records from the registrar of each school. 1996) The Learning Styles Inventory of Grasha and Reichmann (Appendix A) was divided into six categories namely. The 60 statements were scattered throughout so that the respondents would not have any clue or pattern that would easily identify them on a certain learning style. monthly family income and parents’ occupation were included. ICT capability. collaborative and independent which were thought to be positive. competitive. . This was used to validate the respondents’ final grade in Biology. The Grasha-Reichmann Learning Style Inventory is composed of 60 items which reflect the respondents' learning styles as to negative or positive learning styles. school’s location. Data on age. The final grade in Biology was used as a measure of the respondent's academic performance.

knowledge consists of discrete facts).e.19 4.. the 32-item Epistemic Beliefs Inventory. learning occurs in a quick or not-at-all fashion).20 .80 .. absolute knowledge exists and will eventually be known).59 2.2.e. “of concepts in biology” to specifically cater to epistemological beliefs of the respondents in Biology subject.e.60 .1.. simple knowledge (i. the Epistemic Belief Inventory (Appendix A) developed by Schraw. authorities have access to otherwise inaccessible knowledge). Strongly disagree – 1. quick learning (i.e. “of the biology teacher”. the ability to acquire knowledge is innate). In order to fit in this study. On the other hand. Moderately Agree – 4. The five factors were originally developed by Bendixen.40 .. was used to measure five different factors regarding the nature of knowledge and the origins of individuals' abilities.79 1.3. It is described as follows: 1.e. the range and description of mean for each description was used.5.39 3. 2002) To measure the epistemological beliefs of the respondents. The factors include certain knowledge (i. and innate ability (i.. the researcher reworded and/or added words or phrases such as “in biology class”. Statements leaning towards naïve epistemological beliefs were scored as Strongly Agree – 5.00 . (1998) and based on earlier work of Schommer (1990).4. Undecided – 3. omniscient authority (i. This inventory. et al (2002) was utilized.66 To describe the level of agreement of the respondents in this inventory. et al. Moderately disagree – 2. the .00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Epistemological Belief Inventory (adapted from Schraw et al.

The students’ intensity of agreement and disagreement regarding each dimension of epistemological beliefs was described using the following range and description of means: 1. Higher scores on this instrument indicated naïve epistemological beliefs while lower scores indicated sophisticated epistemological beliefs.59 2.20 .00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Due to orientation towards sophisticated pole.67 following reverse scoring were applied to statements gearing towards sophisticated epistemological beliefs: Strongly Agree – 1.4. Moderately disagree – 4.20 .3. approval was first sought from the school principals of the five high schools of CLSU to ask for their assistance regarding this study.79 1. Moderately Agree – 2. 2002).79 1.1.5.5.39 3. Strongly disagree – 5.40 .19 4.39 3.00 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree Data Gathering Procedure Before the researcher began collecting data from the respondents.2.00 .40 .2.3.80 . The scale below shows the reverse range and description of the mean: 1.60 .83 (Schraw et al.19 4. some statements under the students’ epistemological beliefs used reverse range and description of the mean. The reported internal consistency of the instrument was α = .59 2.00 . .80 .60 .4.1. Undecided – 3.

Before administering the questionnaires. they were prompted to go back and complete missed items. The non-academic. 1. monthly family income. Moreover. non-evaluative nature of the test was emphasized to encourage the students to accomplish the questionnaires. learning styles and socio- demographic characteristics in terms of age. To identify the students’ epistemological beliefs. learning styles and some socio-demographic profiles. and Epistemological Belief Inventory developed by Schraw et al. parents’ occupation was determined using frequencies and percentages. They were also assured that the data they provided will be used solely for research purposes. . the researcher oriented the students on the purpose of the study.68 The respondents’ final grade in Biology was retrieved from the registrars of the five high schools of CLSU. a questionnaire was prepared which included the GrashaReichmann Learning Style Inventory. the students were reminded to feel free to approach the researcher should they need help in any part of the tests. (2002). ICT accessibility. objectively. school's location.05. Level of confidence was set at 0. parents’ educational background. The respondents were given sufficient time to answer the test instrument. A profile of the students' epistemological beliefs. Statistical Analyses Answers to the problems for this descriptive correlational study were provided through different statistical techniques. gender. If they tried to submit the survey questionnaire with unanswered items.

percentages. 4. Pearson Product-Moment Coefficient of Correlation (Pearson r) was used to determine the relationship between: (a) epistemological beliefs and academic performance. school's location. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to find out whether or not age. . A profile of the respondents' academic performance in Biology was obtained with the use of frequencies. Multiple regression analysis was used in order to find out if learning styles and epistemological beliefs would predict the academic performance of the students in Biology. parents’ educational background. ICT accessibility. 5.69 2. monthly family income. 3. gender. parents’ occupation significantly moderate the relationship between (a) epistemological beliefs and academic performance and (b) learning styles and academic performance. mean and standard deviation. and (c) epistemological beliefs and learning styles. (b) learning styles and academic performance.

moderate and low in the learning style inventory (Appendix D). et al. Learning style is an important factor in several areas including students’ academic achievement. Learning Styles of the Respondents Learning style describes the process learners used to sort and process information. gender. Results revealed that respondents were more collaborative than competitive. this chapter also shows the impact of socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents such as age.70 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION This chapter presents the findings regarding the relationship of the respondents' epistemological beliefs and learning styles as the independent variables and their consequent relationship on the academic performance of the students in Biology. 1977). . more dependent than independent and more participant than avoidant. This result is further supported by the percentage of respondents that scored high. parents' educational background and parents' occupation referred to as moderating variables on the relationship of epistemological beliefs and learning styles to the academic performance of students. In addition. and student-teacher interaction (Witkin. Figure 2 shows the distribution of learning styles among the respondents. school location. ICT accessibility. how students learn and teachers teach. This chapter also presents the possible predictors of academic performance as a result of regression analysis. The results are discussed in sequential order as they appear in the objectives of this study.

The collaborative learning style had an overall of 3. However.89 which means moderately agree. Most of them enjoy hearing what others think about the issues raised in class. The students strongly agreed that activities of different sorts in Biology class and learning through cooperative effort with their teachers and classmates were the most effective way to learn Biology. These students agreed that working with others in class activities was something they enjoyed doing. . Distribution of respondents’ learning style Collaborative Learning Style Table 2a shows the level of agreement of the respondents pertaining to collaborative statements as the respondents’ most dominant learning style. that they should be encouraged to share more of their ideas with each other.71 Figure 2. they just moderately agreed that they enjoy discussing their ideas about course contents with others. the students believe that an important part of studying Biology is learning to get along with other people. Moreover. Students believe that learning the material was a cooperative effort between students and teachers.

I am willing to help other students out when they do not understand something in Biology.1.79 1.99 3.59 2. I like to study for tests in Biology with other students.54 3.40 .09 3. Learning the lessons in Biology is a cooperative effort between students and teachers.89 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree .39 3. I enjoy participating in small group activities during Biology class. Students should be encouraged to share more of their ideas with each other in Biology class.3. I enjoy discussing my ideas about Biology with other students.72 Table 2a.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 4.20 3.62 3. Biology classes make me feel like part of a team where people help each other learn.60 . I enjoy hearing what other students think about issues raised in Biology class. An important part of studying Biology is learning to get along with other people.62 4.5.82 3.4.2. Responses of the students toward collaborative learning styles Collaborative Statement Description Working with other students on class activities is something I enjoy doing in my Biology class. Overall Legend: 1.90 3.24 3.19 4.20 .87 4.80 .00 .

In her study about the different learning styles of selected students of Munoz National High School. Kain (2003) explained that in learner-centered approaches. Science and English) was collaborative. They usually function in the classroom by sharing their ideas. In cooperative learning approach. The thrust of Philippine education today has been geared towards student-centered goal where students are encouraged to create their own learning experiences via different teaching strategies among which is the cooperative learning approach. group activities and group .73 This result implies that most of the students enjoy working in cooperation with their peers. Students who are asked to work together also tend to be less intimidated by the task and will work at the task with greater intensity for time. views and talents with others. Majority of the respondents were found to have inclination for group discussions. The dominance of collaborative learning style among the students may be attributed to the kind of teaching strategy the teachers use in their classroom. These students prefer group discussions or group activities where they can freely interact with others while learning. Students who have collaborative learning styles are willing to help other students when they do not understand something in Biology. Velasquez (2007) also found that the most dominant learning style in the three student groupings (Mathematics. the construction of knowledge is shared. the teachers incorporate the idea that the best learning occurs when students are actively engaged in the learning process and working in collaboration with other students to accomplish a shared goal. In addition. and learning is achieved through learners’ engagement with various activities. Kagan (1994) contends that when cooperative learning is incorporated into the classroom. research suggests students learn with greater depth and complexity while enjoying the experience even more.

Participative students are characterized by the willingness to take responsibilities of self-learning. They love to show what they got and always have the willingness to accomplish everything with their peers. Because the level of discussion within groups is significantly greater than in instructor led discussions. Participant Learning Style The next most dominant learning style is participant which has a of 3. classmates and teachers as well. 3. It is through this process of interacting with Table 2b. students receive immediate feedback.74 Description Moderately Agree Moderately Agree . Davis et al.82 which means respondents moderately agreed on almost all the statements pertaining to this learning preference. The respective means and descriptions of the students’ responses are presented in Table 2b. (1990) maintain that the use of cooperative learning consequently promotes participative approach among the students and in turn helps students clarify concepts and ideas through discussion and debate. The always look forward to partaking in every class activity and can be seen with enthusiasm to do those which are required and optional requirements in class.74 dynamics. I find that Biology class is worth attending. They are the most obedient students in class because they follow whatever the teacher tells to do. thus advancing the level of discussion.74 3. Responses of students toward participant learning styles Participant Statement I do whatever is asked of me to learn in my Biology class.

I typically complete assignments in Biology before their deadlines. I complete required assignments in Biology as well as those that are optional. It is my responsibility to get as much as I can out of my Biology class.19 4. they are truly thinking critically (Davis et al.20 . 1990). According to the constructivist approach. I do all assignments in Biology well whether or not I think they are interesting.2.80 .75 I get more out of going to Biology class than staying at home.1.82 Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Legend: 1. Classroom activities in Biology class are interesting. I often sit toward the front of the room.4.82 4.3.59 2. The students strongly agree in the statements stating that activities in Biology class .00 . Emphasis is placed on learning how to cooperate in order to find the best possible solution to a problem.39 3.24 4. I try to participate as much as I can in all activities in Biology.49 3.84 3. Overall 3..5.84 3.18 4.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree students of differing viewpoints that cognitive growth is stimulated.40 .79 1. when students formulate their own solutions in this manner.60 .03 3. In my Biology class.31 3.

that the Biology class is worth attending. They were undecided. This may have exerted influence on the students to become more participative on almost every activity in the classroom. They moderately agreed on statements that they would do whatever is asked of them.77 which is moderately . Dependent Learning Style Statements under dependent learning styles were shown in Table 2c. that they get more information in the Biology class. that they do assignments in the Biology class whether they think they are interesting or not. The means and their corresponding descriptions for each statement were also presented in the same table. however. In a setting where the teacher’s authority is prevalent.76 are interesting and most of them try to participate as much as they can in all the activities in Biology. that they feel that it is their responsibility to get as much information in their Biology class. students are expected to obey or abide by the teachers. These learning styles had particular positive influence on the high academic achievement of the respondents. whether they would want to sit toward the front of the room. and that they complete assignments whether they are optional or required. As earlier stated. The overall of the statements under dependent learning style is 3. most respondents in this study have high regards with the authority of the teacher in the classroom. Santos (2008) reported in his study among 120 high school students taking up Biology that students tended to hold positive learning styles such as participative and independent learning styles when exposed to activities that address these types of learning styles.

31 4.80 . Responses of the students toward dependent learning styles Dependent Statement I want my Biology teacher to state exactly what he expects from the students.96 4.88 3.77 . I want Biology teachers to have outlines or notes on the board.4.20 .77 3.00 .82 2. My notes contain almost everything the teacher said in my Biology class.60 .5. Table 2c.1.96 3.06 Description Moderately Agree Undecided Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree 3. I want clear and detailed instructions in Biology on how to complete assignments.59 2.19 4.2. Students should be told exactly what topics are to be covered on Biology exams.77 agree. Students should be more closely supervised by Biology teachers in doing Biology projects.79 1.3.94 3.24 3. Overall Legend: 1.40 . I prefer Biology lessons that are highly organized.72 3.39 3. I complete assignments in Biology exactly the way my Biology teacher tells me to do them.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 3. I rely on my Biology teacher to tell me what is important for me to learn. Trying to decide what to study or how to do assignments in Biology makes me uncomfortable.

learn better when concepts are humanized. have more difficult time solving problems. that they want highly organized lessons. They were undecided. that they rely much on whatever their teachers say. The relative high percentage of respondents in this study who have this kind of learning style suggests that many students heavily rely on their teachers with regard to learning Biology. The students moderately agreed on the statements stating that they want their teacher to exactly state what to expect from the students. that they should be told of what topics are to be covered in Biology and they wanted notes or outlines from their teachers. that they accomplish their requirements exactly the way their teacher wants them. however.78 The students strongly agreed that Biology teachers should have clear and wellexplained instructions in doing their assignments or activities in the class. are more attuned to their social environment. (1977) about the pre-service teacher of agriculture education. Additionally. In a study made by Witkin et al. they found that individuals who prefer a field-dependent learning style tend to perceive globally. The cultural perspective on the belief of the authority of the teachers may be pointed as one of the many attributing factors why students become dependent. individuals preferring a field-dependent . when asked if they rely heavily on their Biology teacher regarding the most important concepts that students should learn in class. and tend to favor a “spectator approach” to learning which means they rely on their teacher and classmates as to what’s going to happen inside the class. that they wanted close supervision from their teachers whenever there is a class activity. that their notes contain exactly almost everything the teacher said.

I try to find out more about it on my own. the overall for independent learning style is 3.02 3.20 3.79 3.48 which is described as moderately agreed. I like to develop my own ideas about Biology lesson. Responses of students toward independent learning styles Independent Statement I prefer to work by myself on assignments in my Biology class. Independent Learning Style Independent learning style is characterized by autonomy trait from the students who work alone and require a little direction from the teacher. In this study. I prefer to work on class projects and assignments in Biology by myself. I learn a lot of Biology on my own. If I like a topic in Biology.69 3. I feel very confident about my ability to learn on my own in Biology.79 learning style have been found to be more extrinsically motivated and learn better when organization and structure are provided by the teacher. When I don't understand something in Biology.51 3.81 3. I first try to figure it out for myself. The overall and descriptions of statement under independent learning style are presented in Table 2d. Overall 3. Table 2d.48 Description Moderately Agree Undecided Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree . I study what is important to me and not always what my Biology teacher says is important.22 4. My ideas about Biology lessons often are as good as those in the textbook.59 3. I have my own ideas about how Biology classes should be run.64 3.29 2.

4. Often. This principle exercised in most schools in the Philippines may have influenced the development of student autonomy in learning.79 1. making their own projects and assignments. This may . students with this type of learning style find themselves understanding things on their own whenever possible and would just turn to teachers in time for confirmation. Piaget's theory of constructivist learning has wide range impact on learning theories and teaching methods in education and is an underlying theme of many education reform movements today (Panitz.40 .80 Legend Respondents 1.19 4. and figuring unclear ideas in Biology on their own.80 . Independent students are curious and confident learners. Understanding the theory of constructivism which also serves as guiding principle of Philippine education today may give light to the level of agreement of the respondents concerning independent learning style.5.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree moderately agreed to statements about their confidence and their ability in learning ideas in Biology. They also expressed their agreement towards learning concepts.20 .3.39 3. They also cast doubt on their ability to seek information from other sources rather than from their teacher.00 . On the other hand.60 .59 2. 1996).1.2. they were undecided whether their ideas are as good as those in Biology textbooks and about having their own idea on how a Biology class should be run.

Independent learning has been one of the approaches explored by national governments and educators as a means of improving educational outcomes.89 for competitive learning style denoting that the respondents moderately agreed on the statements leaning towards this learning method. on the other hand on the idea of directly competing . America and other parts of the world. the students’ overall was 3. The respondents moderately agreed on majority of the statements under competitive learning style. concern about formal education fostering independent learning and its outcomes has been prevalent in Europe. In this study.81 have provided the students a freedom for expressing their own ability and skills inside the classroom. students learn in order to perform better than their peers and to receive recognition for their academic accomplishments. they like to solve problems or answer questions in Biology before anybody else. Boekaerts (1998) wrote that over the last decade. be ahead of everyone in terms of class activities. indicating that competition is an integral part of learning. They were undecided. Competitive Learning Style In competitive learning style. students must be aggressive. monitor their and their classmates’ own performance for comparison and like to be recognized often by the teacher in Biology class. In addition. They agreed that to be able to perform well in the class. The mean and description of each statement under this learning style are presented in Table 2e. It provides the students a healthy academic competition among peers. Most of the respondents emphasized the significance of competition or opposition as an integral part of their learning system.

59 2. I want my Biology teacher to give me more recognition for the good work I do.56 3.63 3. I like to solve problems or answer questions in Biology before anybody else can.00 4.1. Being one of the best students in my Biology class is very important to me.79 1.69 3.5.69 3. I like to know how well other students are doing on exams and assignments in Biology.4.52 Description Undecided Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree . I must compete with other students to get my ideas across.19 4. I complete assignments better than other students. it is necessary to step on the toes of other students.93 3.80 .39 3.2. Overall Legend: 1.10 3. To get ahead in Biology class.3.40 . Responses of students toward competitive learning styles Competitive Statement To do well. Table 2e.20 .21 3.03 3.00 . it is necessary to compete with other students for my Biology teacher’s attention. Students have to be aggressive to do well in Biology class.60 .82 with others to get good grades and attention of their Biology teacher or to step on others toes just to be on top. In Biology class.36 3. To stand out in my Biology class. It is necessary to compete with other students to get a good grade in Biology class.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 3.

knowledge. Johnson & Johnson. (2003) contend that traditionally. 1990. competition. but in the end there can only be a few “winners. Mary (2010) maintained that although competition does not always belong in certain areas of the academe. there were cases when a majority of students are highly motivated. has a feeling of need to satisfy himself. Teachers have the option of structuring lessons competitively.” The idea is to encourage and praise all participants. students engage in a win-lose struggle in an effort to . and the environment he dwells in may have pushed him to compete against others. and below average results at the same rate. individualistically. like in the real world. and if teachers reward mediocre. is necessary to inspire people to produce more meaningful advances. They further assumed that competitive learning environments are beneficial in that they prepare students for life experiences such as applying for jobs or competing for grants. 1987).” Tanner et al. educational settings have always taken a competitive approach to learning. competition can lead to the most creative and innovative outcomes. because the bar is lowered for everyone.83 This level of agreement among the respondents may be attributed to the nature of human to compete with others most especially when one is highly motivated. The decisions teachers make in structuring lessons can influence students' interactions with others. above average. In addition. and attitudes (Carson. “they are only doing their students a disservice. these situations can develop self-reliance and self-confidence in students. In a competitively structured classroom. She argued that people are rewarded for the highest quality work. In addition. and many of those who have succeeded in school and pursued careers in science excel in these environments. or cooperatively.

84 2. Table 2f. Classroom activities in Biology are usually boring. I typically cram for exams in Biology.92 Description Undecided Moderately Diasgree Undecided Moderately Disagree Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Undecided . Overall 2. I don't want to attend my Biology class..86 3. I study just hard enough to get by in Biology. Majority of the responses of the students under this learning style is undecided.71 3.66 2. 1991).69 3.4 % of the respondents have avoidant learning styles. I would prefer that my Biology teacher ignores me in class.19 2. I have given up trying to learn anything from going to Biology class.57 2.84 determine who is best (Johnson & Johnson. In competitive classrooms students perceive that they can obtain their goals only if the other students in the class fail to attain their own goals (Johnson et al. I tend to socialize with people sitting next to me. 1986).27 3. Paying attention during Biology class is difficult for me to do. The students’ level of agreement or disagreement is presented in Table 2f. I very seldom am excited about material covered in Biology.27 1. During Biology class. Responses of students toward avoidant learning styles Avoidant Statement I often daydream during Biology class.12 3. Avoidant Learning Style Only 5.

Leroy and Symes ( 2001) wrote that students with avoidant learning style are seen to lack interest in learning content and attending class. Students moderately disagreed that the classroom activities are boring. hence. cramming during exams.4. According to Grasha (1996).1.3.19 4. Velasquez (2007) and Mariano (2005) wrote in their respective studies that students with this kind of learning style often perform poorly. avoidant learners are typically overwhelmed and disinterested in the learning environment. They usually do not participate in the class activities. and the ignoring attitude of their Biology teacher.59 2.00 . Research by Weiten (1998) suggests that academic and social pressure associated with student’s life increase the likelihood of the learners experiencing psychological symptoms and academic .00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Students moderately agreed that they study hard enough and they tend to socialize with people sitting next to them.20 . and tend to keep ideas to themselves.80 . They were undecided when they talk about their enthusiasm. For them. worst.39 3.85 Legend 1. their academic performance suffer the most. that they do not want to attend Biology class.2. most of them are also likely to have high absenteeism.79 1. They organize their work poorly and take little accountability for their learning.60 . going to school is monotony that requires a little of their attention.5.40 .

25 0.39 0.63 Description Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Table 2g reveals that the most dominant learning style among respondents was collaborative.1.79 1.5.86 stress. Summary of Students’ Learning Styles The summary of the means and the description of students responses in all the six dimension of learning styles are presented in Table 2g.92 SD 0.2.77 3.20 .4. competitive and avoidant learning .39 3.40 . Avoidant learners who are easily overwhelmed by the learning environment may find more pressure and stress which can manifest in the form of internalizing or externalizing behaviors associated with psychological distress.19 4.38 0.59 2.00 .82 3.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Overall 3.37 0. Means and standard deviations obtained by the respondents in the dimensions of learning styles Learning Style Collaborative Participant Dependent Independent Competitive Avoidant Legend: 1.28 0. Table 2g.80 .89 3. This indicates the respondents’ degree or level of agreement or disagreement about students’ approach in learning Biology. The rest of the respondents had independent.48 3.3.52 2.60 . Students’ responses varied according to the different dimensions of learning style under different reflections.

Fig u r e . and the manner in which such epistemological premises are part of an influence on cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning. In this study. undecided with avoidant learning style. Figure 3 shows the epistemological beliefs of the respondents. the more the students show sophistication in the different dimensions of epistemological beliefs. Epistemological Beliefs of the Respondents Epistemological beliefs refer to how individuals come to know. Generally.87 style. Almost all the learning styles were moderately agreed by the students in different degrees as supported by the overall and standard deviation of their responses. the lower the score. Students were. respondents exhibit relatively emergent beliefs among the various dimensions of epistemological beliefs. the theories and beliefs they have about knowing. however.

they start to adopt a more sophisticated viewpoint about knowledge and believe knowledge is changing and tentative. 128 or 87. were still naïve or believed that knowledge is absolute. These students were found to have belonged to urban schools. on the other hand. acquired gradually and the ability to learn can be changed. acquired quickly or not at all and that the ability to learn is fixed at birth.4% of the respondents were sophisticated in their beliefs. Seventeen (17) or 11.1 % were emergent. . Perry (1970) also revealed in his study that younger learners move from viewing truth in absolute terms of right and wrong to recognizing multiple. As they grow older.88 3. derived by reason. Epistemological beliefs held by the respondents in Biology It could be noted that majority of the respondents. Results of the studies of Chan and Elliot (2002) and Ryan (1984) revealed that the younger respondents usually hold naïve beliefs about the nature of knowledge that is certain and instantly recognizable. Majority of the students in this study were probably in a transitional stage of development of epistemological beliefs while others had already passed through the naïve stage. complex. Emergent learners refer to students whose beliefs consist of combined characteristics found in sophisticated and naïve believers. They have the tendency to think that knowledge is tentative.6%. complex. and that the ability to learn can be changed. Sophisticated learners believe that knowledge is tentative. conflicting versions of “truth” representing legitimate alternatives as they mature. Only two or 1. simple. or at times. acquired gradually. simple and can be handed down by authority. handed down by authority. they may believe that knowledge is absolute.

In this study. high school seniors completed the SEQ in 1995. Majority of the statements of the Epistemological Beliefs Inventory are leaning toward naïve pole. However. The researchers concluded that all four epistemological beliefs. became more sophisticated as students matured The succeeding paragraphs present the students’ responses regarding the five dimensions of epistemological beliefs. the researcher used the reverse range of mean and description to show the level of students’ agreement and disagreement on the statements that indicate sophisticated beliefs. Those indicated with asterisk are reversely scored. quick learning. Quick Learning The students’ responses regarding Quick Learning dimension are described in Table 3a with the mean. This means that when the overall mean of each dimension leads toward 5 (strongly agree).89 In a longitudinal study. innate ability. there were also statements which were expressed in sophisticated statements. Table 3a.25 SD 1. and certain knowledge. simple knowledge. To avoid confusion. in this study. Mean. Responses of the students in quick learning dimension Quick Learning Statement Students who learn things quickly in Biology are the most successful. the students become more naïve while when the students scored lower. Schommer et al. standard deviation and description of each statement. they tend to become sophisticated.34 Description Undecided . standard deviation and descriptions for each statement under a specific facet of students’ epistemological beliefs are presented. This group was a random sample of the students who started the questionnaire as freshmen in 1992. 3. (1997) continued Schommer’s (1993b) study about the development of secondary students’ epistemological beliefs.

learning either occurs at initial endeavors or is not likely to occur at all. he will most likely end up being confused. Working on a problem in Biology with no quick solution is a waste of time. when these same students think that knowledge is .60 .5. There are times.19 4.63 2. This means that most of the respondents would tend to believe that there are cases where students can learn things quickly.42 1.20 .76 Undecided Undecided Undecided Undecided Undecided Legend: 1.21 2. Overall 3.4. In Biology.31 0. believe that those who learn things rapidly are the most successful in Biology.79 1.93 described as undecided.80 .00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree of A relative sophistication in their beliefs is more evident in Quick Learning with a 2. This indicates that majority of the students tend to believe that there are cases where learning is acquired quickly or while sometimes knowledge is acquired gradually. Generally.1. however. For these students.78 2.40 .90 If a student tries too hard to understand a problem in Biology. if you don't learn something quickly. going back over it won't help.3.2.19 1. If you haven't understood a lesson in Biology the first time through.00 .50 1.39 3. students were undecided in all statements under Quick Learning.77 2.59 2.93 1. you won't ever learn it.

On the other hand.25 Moderately Disagree Moderately .10. In this dimension. Responses of the students in innate ability dimension Innate Ability Statement Some students in Biology will never be smart no matter how hard they work. In addition. 2.91 created through learning effort and process which means that they believe in the gradual development of their knowledge in Biology. Innate Ability Innate Ability refers to the factor as a continuum ranging from the belief that the ability to learn is fixed at birth to the belief that learning improves over time with experience. Table 3b.31 2. these same students cast their doubts as to whether aptitude in Biology is inborn and whether the capacity to learn Biology is dependent on innate ability. It is interesting to note that majority of the respondents tend to believe that in one way or another person may have the innate capability that others do not have when it comes to Biology. it would necessitate that they spend longer time striving and struggling to perform fittingly in Biology activities.33 SD Description 1.18 1. Their belief manifested sophistication when they moderately disagreed that no amount of hard work can make students smart and that smart students need not work hard to be able to do well in Biology. the students had an overall response of 3. The responses of the students are presented in Table 3b. Students showed less sophistication as they believe that some students are born with special gifts and talents in Biology.

11 1.18 3.61 3.40 .00 .18 1.3. Smart students in Biology are born that way.13 and standard deviation of 0.53.4. To avoid confusion. Students had mixed agreements in their belief in Simple Knowledge with the overall of Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 3.49 3.20 .66 Disagree Undecided Undecided Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Undecided Legend: 1.13 1.5.79 1. Students can't do too much about how smart they are in Biology.07 2.1. Reverse scoring was utilized in some .39 3.60 .19 1.92 Really smart students don't have to work as hard to do well in Biology.59 2.12 3.10 1. it was marked with an asterisk to indicate that it was reversely scored.00 Simple Knowledge Table 3c presents the responses of the students regarding Simple Knowledge. How well you do in Biology depends on how smart you are.2.80 .19 4. Some students in Biology class just have a knack for learning and others don't. Some students are born with special gifts and talents in Biology Overall 3. In this particular dimension. one of the statements was expressed towards sophistication.25 0.

99 1. Biology is easy to understand because it contains so many facts. the more there is to know.20 . In this study.21 0.37 1. Too many theories in biology just complicate things. as the statement is reversely scored.5. the more you know about a topic.3.53 Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Undecided Moderately Agree Undecided Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 1. They moderately agreed that.24 1. Responses of the students in simple knowledge dimension Simple Knowledge Statement It bothers me when Biology teachers don't tell students the answers to complicated Biology problems.93 Table 3c.2.00 . Biology teachers should focus on facts instead of theories.39 3.17 0.19 4. The best ideas in biology are often the simplest ones. Some Biology concepts are simpler than most Biology teachers would have you believe.40 .52 3. In Biology.* Overall * reverse scored Legend: Regular scoring *Reverse Scoring SD Description 3. it demonstrates sophistication in the viewpoint of the respondent. teachers should focus on facts and that the best ideas in Biology are often the simplest ones.59 2.22 1. This may be attributed the respondents’ strong belief in authority as .4.60 .19 1.80 . inconvenience arises when teachers do not teach what it is ought to be taught.79 1.00 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree statements of selected dimensions such as this to show the students’ agreement and disagreement regarding the statement.27 3.13 1.56 3.86 3.22 3.64 3.99 0.1.

This means that they sometimes tend to believe that there are simple concepts or ideas in Biology that are easy to understand and sometimes they regard this knowledge in Biology as rather complex than simple. influencing students’ conception of one’s own ability. Certainty of Knowledge Certainty of knowledge refers to the dimension of the students’ epistemological beliefs which maintain that knowledge is absolute to knowledge is constantly changing. They felt undecided as to whether many theories just complicate things and that Biology is filled with simpler concepts and facts. The responses of the respondents regarding certainty of knowledge are presented in Table 3d with an overall of 3. Statements which were reversely scored illustrate sophistication in the responses of the students. Consequently. Ryan (1984) disclosed that majority of high school respondents in his study exhibit beliefs in simple knowledge and quick learning. they were marked in such a way showing their reverse scoring. This means that majority of the . These students later on developed more matured or sophisticated idea about the structure and origin of knowledge when they are exposed to classroom activities that promote more sensible perception regarding knowledge.94 source of knowledge that is why many depend on them. As earlier stated. this dimension also holds the largest number of statements that are oriented toward sophisticated beliefs.29 which is undecided. thereby.

at least one of them must be wrong.17 0.19 4.40 .38 3. however.79 1.80 .37 3. * Overall * reverse scored Legend: Regular scoring *Reverse Scoring SD Description 2. at least one of them is wrong denoting of the certainty of knowledge.4.* If two students are arguing about something in a Biology class.41 2.17 1.20 .* I like biology teachers who present several competing theories and let their students decide which is best. You can study Biology concepts for years and still not really understand them.3. What is true today in Biology will be true tomorrow.* Sometimes there are no right answers to Biology's big problems.48 3.20 2.5.36 3.59 2.39 3.60 .57 Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Undecided Moderately Disagree Undecided Undecided Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 1.2 1. Table 3d.29 1. The moral rules in Biology I live by apply to everyone in the class.95 students show greater conviction that knowledge in Biology may be tentative or everchanging at one time or may be certain sometimes.53 3.14 1.01 1. * Absolute moral truth does not exist in Biology. undecided whether or not to believe in the existence and applicability of moral .1.00 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree Most of the students moderately agreed on statements pertaining to truth in Biology that is different from one person to another and that when two people have opposing ideas in Biology.17 1.81 3. Responses of the students in certainty of knowledge dimension Certainty of Knowledge Statement Truth in Biology means different things to different people.29 1. They were.00 .2.14 1.

to 18-years-old). one specific statement leaned toward sophistication. In a subsequent large-scale study. Solomon et al. It was interesting to note students showed maturity when they moderately agreed that at times teachers’ authority in Biology may be questioned and they moderately disagreed when asked if those who questioned the teachers were trouble makers. Solomon and her colleagues used the same questionnaire with a much larger age-range of students (13. students showed least sophisticated epistemology in Omniscient Authority with a = 3. .96 absolute truth in Biology to others and right answers in Biology’s big problems. for most. This implies that a large portion of the students believe in the authority of teacher as the main source of knowledge in Biology. the researchers found that older students’ views showed a significant progression toward a sophisticated understanding of science particularly in their beliefs in certainty and simplicity of knowledge. Omniscient authority as referred to by Schommer (1990) maintains that knowledge is handed down by experts in the field to knowledge is reasoned out through objective and subjective means. In this particular dimension. they believe that knowledge is certain and unwavering. Omniscient Authority One of the dimensions of the epistemological beliefs recognizes the students’ beliefs in the source of knowledge. This implies that the more students believed that knowledge in Biology is certain. (1994) found in their studies students aged seven to ten years old were more likely to have less sophisticated beliefs in the stability of knowledge. the more likely they were to treat inconclusive information as certain or unchangeable knowledge.32 (Table 3e). that is. However.

3. I usually do it. However. they all moderately agreed about the influence of the teacher in the classroom.1.39 3.19 1.20 .03 1.* When a Biology teacher tells me what to do.20 SD 1.00 .97 The manifestation of their least sophistication in this dimension was supported by the statement of the students strongly agreeing that teachers should teach all there is to know in Biology. Teachers should teach their students all there is to know about Biology. Students who question Biology teachers are trouble makers.79 1.19 4.10 Description Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 2.80 .07 4.2. students should be allowed to question their teachers' authority.26 0.5. Overall Mean 3.40 . Table 3e.4.59 2.56 Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided * reverse scored Legend Regular scoring *Reverse Scoring Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree 1.32 1.91 4.39 3.60 . In a Biology class.00 2.00 Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree . Responses of the students in omniscient authority dimension Omniscient Authority Statement Students should always obey the law inside Biology classroom.22 1.

a culturally based explanation could be found as to why Omniscient Authority is a prevalent element in students’ epistemological beliefs among the respondents.29 3. in his study where education is highly treasured for being a ‘social good’.32 SD 0. values and behavior in people’s relationships. in particular.57 0. It can be fairly sustained that culture in Asian societies. and in communication. settings of communication (primarily between the teacher and the students). and since schools (classrooms) are. by excellence. Sitoe (2004) further argued that.66 0. where modernity seems to go along with traditional values.10 3. Table 3f.56 Description Undecided Undecided Undecided Undecided . Means and standard deviations obtained by the respondents in the five dimensions of the Epistemological Beliefs Dimension Simple Knowledge Certainty of Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Overall 3. that of Asian. in general. principles such as those pinpointed by Moemeka (1996) may still influence norms. Summary of Students’ Epistemological Beliefs To decide on the nature of epistemological beliefs that respondents hold.53 0. plays an important role in the learning of students. means and standard deviations were calculated and tabulated as shown in Table 3f. If so. the culture of respect towards a teacher is to be regarded as associated to a perception of the utility of the teacher (the one conveying that ‘social good’) to the community. in particular.98 This strong agreement of the students towards the authority of the teacher may be addressed borrowing the conceptual lenses from social psychology where culture.13 3.

76 Undecided 1.4. this means that they mostly believed that knowledge is acquired gradually. . Profile of Students’ Academic Performance in Biology The grade point average (GPA) of the respondents presented in Figure 4 refers to the average grade in Biology of the respondents during the school year 2009-2010.93 0. Students’ responses varied according to the different dimensions of epistemology under consideration.3. they showed least sophistication in the Omniscient Authority.1. This means that the respondents tended to believe that teachers are the definitive source of information in Biology.19 4.2.00 .20 .39 3.40 .99 Quick Learning 2.60 .80 .79 1. However.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Legend Data in Table 3f indicate that respondents hold a variety of beliefs about the nature of knowledge in Biology and the process of handling this knowledge. The results revealed that majority of the respondents had an average performance in Biology with the mean rating of 83.5. students showed sophistication in Quick Learning.87 (Appendix E). Based on the findings.59 2.76 and a standard deviation of 3.

Relationship Between Learning Style and Epistemological Beliefs of the Respondents The relationship between the respondents’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles .6% had a low academic performance or a grade just below 80. About 25 or 17% had a high academic performance. Only 14 or 9.100 Figure 4.4% had a grade of 80-87 which means they have average performance. Science and English. Similar result was found by Velasquez (2007) in her study that majority of the high school respondents in Muñoz National High School had average academic performance in Mathematics. Their grades were at least 88. Distribution of respondents’ grade point average Majority of respondents about 108 or 73.

000 0.095 0. Table 4.000 0.261** 0. Table 4 below shows the correlation between the learning styles of the respondents and their epistemological beliefs. Relationship between learning styles and epistemological beliefs Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant Simple Knowledge 0. While most of the time avoidant learners are associated with negative .163* 0.082 0. on the other hand.117 0.013 0. For them.003 0. This relationship may be attributed to the idea that independent learners are fond of discovering their own knowledge so they always consider a continuous processing of knowledge into a meaningful outcome when it comes to learning Biology.203* 0.000 0.009 0.101 was also investigated in this study.323 0.028 0.141 0.101 0.389** 0.011 0.165* 0.362** 0.725 ** Highly significant at 0.029 0. those students.000 0. They also have the propensity to believe in the knowledge as a result of personal experience and to those facts they acquired gradually.01 level (2-tailed) * Significant at the 0. to grasp concepts or ideas in Biology.001 0.262** 0.075 0.190 0. are more likely to consider that knowledge is a lifelong process and ability is not inborn.099 0.001 0. that learning can change anytime as well as in the gradual acquisition of knowledge in Biology.225 0.247** Epistemological Beliefs Certainty of Innate Omniscient Quick p-value p-value p-value p-value p-value Knowledge Ability Authority Learning 0.894 0.366** 0.080 0.010 -0.090 0.064 0.235 0.181* 0.278** 0.05 level (2-tailed) Results revealed that independent learners had a tendency to believe in the complexity of knowledge.000 0. facts must be presented in continuous manner to be able to absorb quickly.001 0.315** 0.212* 0.000 0.441 0. Although most of avoidant learners are inattentive and uninterested in the class.364 0.254 0.403** 0.213** -0.295** 0.014 0.145 0.000 0 . Respondents with this kind of learning style have the tendency to believe that knowledge is not inherent and that learning is gradually acquired when it comes to learning Biology.046 0.021 -0.049 0.294** 0.160 0.205* -0.

102 connotations when it come to learning. This may mean that dependent learners learn better Biology concepts as they realize that people learn through experience. This may be attributed to their own behavior being negligent and uninterested in the class. Since they always consider associating themselves with others. This may indicate that dependent learners learn Biology if they perceive knowledge in its complex and indistinctive form. The negative correlation existing between their learning style and the certainty of knowledge connotes that these learners may have the predisposition of believing that knowledge is definite. they may exhibit positive characters at times depending on activities and other classroom factors that may encourage them to be constructive (Sarasin. they have the tendency to construct their own knowledge through their experience from others. This belief may be explained by the fundamental attitude exhibited by the collaborative learners. It is also interesting to note that dependent learners set aside their regard for the authority or teacher as the primary source of knowledge in Biology. 1998). whatever knowledge they have is still evolving. . hence. Dependent learning style is highly correlated to the beliefs such as simple knowledge. Dependent learning style was also significantly related with their belief in inner ability. certainty of knowledge and omniscient authority. The significant correlation between the collaborative learning style and certainty of knowledge and innate ability may mean that learners who scored high on this kind of learning style believe that knowledge is constantly evolving and that whatever knowledge they have in Biology is a result of continuous experience.

participant learning style has highly significant correlation with the simplicity and certainty of knowledge. It can be well remembered that participant learners are keen to the idea of learning from their association with others. Competitive learners love to vie with others. Participant learners are also closely associated with the omniscient authority. This may denote that as a student becomes competitive in the class the more he becomes aware that knowledge may be constructed from one’s own experience and it is acquired through gradual process. Competitive learning style was also significantly correlated with the simplicity of knowledge. knowledge should be encountered. this teaches them to explore outside and to create or interpret knowledge according to their perspective. Participant learners may have the tendency to believe that knowledge is organized into a highly incorporated and intertwined data resulting from an evolving source of knowledge. participant learners may be utilizing this system in organizing data they gather from their external environment apart from what they learn from their teachers and from books. This sophistication in belief about the authority as the source of knowledge may have influenced them to use such approach in functioning well in the Biology class. For them to efficiently learn concepts or ideas in Biology. .103 Competitive learning style had highly significant correlation with the beliefs of innate ability and quick learning. thus. This denotes that competitive learners believe that knowledge is highly integrated and interwoven. Lastly. This view may arise from their belief in the gradual acquisition of knowledge. progressively acquired and carefully integrated into a meaningful learning experience. It was stated previously that participant learners take pride in connecting not just only with their classmates but with their teachers as well. If so.

The more students believe in complex knowledge and gradual learning. monitor their comprehension and strategize their learning. study strategies. the more likely they are to successfully comprehend.01) is observed between participant learning style and academic performance. meta-comprehension. p<0. (1996) suggested that students who have less sophisticated beliefs (in the case of avoidant students) tend to use surface-level strategies to collect isolated facts and try to rehearse and memorize concepts and key terms to prepare for examinations. A highly significant relationship (r=0. In many studies. Kardash and Scholes.266. and interpretation of text. Relationship Between Learning Styles and Academic Performance Learning styles are seen to be the most distinguished way a student learns or processes information. the more likely that his grade . Table 5 shows the relationship between the learning styles and academic performance in Biology of the respondents. Schommer and Hutter (2002) found links between epistemological beliefs and students' comprehension.104 Many studies have investigated the influence of epistemological beliefs on learning strategies (Hofer. while students with sophisticated epistemological beliefs tend to apply deep-level strategies such as elaboration and organization (as in the case of participative and collaborative learners). This means that as the student becomes more participative and given the chance to involve himself actively with the rest of the students and with the activities in the classroom. the potentiality of learning styles as an indicator of how a student learns and how he likes to learn have been frequently established in the past. 1999) in traditional contexts.

000 0.350 -0. This is also true with students who are collaborative. the higher the tendency that students obtain higher grades. or students and teachers together.257 0. Most learning activities from collaborative and participative approach focus on the student's exploration and application of the course material and not the teacher's presentation of it. Gerlach (1994) stated that the student-oriented goal of education is anchored on two learning theories such as cooperative and constructivist learning theories.217 ** 0. p<0. This result may be attributed to the current educational reform in the Philippines particularly the shifting of a teacher-centered to student-centered goal may be one of the reasons why there is a high rate of students who favor collaborative and participant learning styles. Collaborative and participative learning describe the many educational approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students.217.288 ** 0.094 0. While .01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average 0.277 0.001 A highly significant relationship (r = 0.105 in Biology improves. discussions and dynamics within the classroom. Relationship between learning styles and academic performance Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant ** Highly significant at 0. Cooperative learning theory incorporates the idea that the best learning occurs when students are actively engaged in the learning process and working in collaboration with other students to accomplish a shared goal.01) is also noted between collaborative learning style and academic performance of students.008 0.674 0. Table 5. The more the teachers give the learners the chance to collaborate with group activities.266 ** p-value 0.090 0.

uninterested or passive in the classroom especially toward activities.106 constructivism focuses on personal experience as the foundation for learning new material. 1996). Students who are asked to work together also tend to be less intimidated by the task and will work at the task with greater intensity for longer time. Likewise. p<0. but also uses the experiences of others (Panitz. cooperative learning utilizes not only the student’s own experience to solidify knowledge. research suggests students learn with greater depth and complexity while enjoying the experience even more. peers and parents as well may help improve avoidant students’ attitude towards learning. This means that these students who showed collaborative learning style significantly earned higher score in CAT. Consequently.01) is observed between the avoidant learning style and academic performance. he tends to obtain lower grade in Biology. Mariano (2005) found out in her study among students of General Biology in CLSU that their CLSU College Admission Test (CAT) scores in Science were significantly correlated with collaborative and participant learning styles. The result implies that meaningful and thought provoking activities as well as encouragement from teachers. Results of her study further revealed . She found out that the students who exhibit these learning styles are found to have higher CAT scores. Carbonel (2008) also found out in her study that there was a highly significant correlation noted between collaborative learning style and the score in science of CLSU CAT among CFY students. those who exhibit avoidant and competitive learning styles were the ones who have low scores in science CAT. This may mean that when a student becomes neglectful. When cooperative learning is incorporated into the classroom.288. a highly significant but negative correlation (r= -0. Similarly. Results of the study are congruent with the findings of Carbonel (2008) and Mariano (2005).

017 p-value 0. Table 6. specifically the certainty of knowledge and school achievement. Relationship Between Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance The relationship between the respondents’ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology was presented in Table 6. This shows a significant relationship existing between the students’ academic performance and the certainty of knowledge.308** 0.000 0. they tend to improve their performance in Biology.095 -0. Results of the study showed that certainty beliefs was found correlated .250 0.008 0. This may also mean that when students see knowledge in Biology as tentative or ever-changing.107 that respondents who exhibited avoidant learning styles tended to get lower grade in the science part of the CLSU-CAT.040 0. In a longitudinal study. Relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance Epistemological Beliefs Simple Knowledge Certainty of Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning ** Highly significant at 0.629 0.01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average -0.835 This association of students’ performance in Biology and their belief in certainty of knowledge denotes that students who scored perform better in Biology are those who believe that knowledge is a product of a person’s effort to construct his own learning through direct experience. Trautwein and Ludtke (2007) examined the relationship between epistemological beliefs.921 0.

this perception of education. Their influence is rather indirect and it is exerted through perceptions of education. This .1243. Learning Styles and Epistemological Belief as Predictors of Academic Performance Multiple regression analysis was conducted to test the predictors of academic performance of students in Biology. for personal and material benefits. In turn. In this study. p<. Furthermore. the more they obtain lower grades in Biology. believing that learning is simple and that knowledge is delivered by authority seems to influence the likelihood of the perception that education is reduced to getting schooled. Distinctively. 137). p < . seems to have positive impact on academic achievement. which privileges the ultimate ends of education rather than the learning process. the certainty beliefs were specified mediating the influence of family background on final school grades.23.05) of the German students. the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive influence on the respondents’ academic performance in Biology.108 significantly and negatively with final school grades (r = -.01 Adjusted R²= . Sitoe (2004) in his study about the epistemological beliefs of Mozambican high school students found that epistemological beliefs do not appear directly related with academic achievement. The negative value of the regression indicates that as students favor avoidant learning style. it was only the avoidant learning style that predicted the academic performance in Biology of students (F= 3. Results revealed that among the dimensions of learning styles.

325901 0.086049 0.084482 0.876700 0.755037 0.167571 0.029646 Std.2302 -0. Table 7. Table 7 shows the result of the multiple regression analysis between the learning styles and epistemological beliefs of the students.818257 0.110177 -0.of Beta t 0.2879 1.008870 0.025854 0. Multiple regression analysis for predictors of academic performance Variables Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant Simple Knowledge Certainty of Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning β 0.172346 0.025101 0.Err.119614 0. always continue to be the underachievers in the class. . 0.277572 0.2917 0.093988 0.021917 -0.925084 0.1554 2.003710 0. In their study about the students’ approach to learning as predictor of academic achievement among respondents.0942 -2. Diseth and Martinsen (2003) argue .9533** 0.095192 0. thereby.4502 0.2533* -0.151941 0.05 level (2-tailed) Cano and Rodriguez (2008) asserted in their study that deep strategy for learning used by the students in coping with their everyday academic works would predict the academic performance of the students.109 implies that students who were underachievers in the class are consequently those who portray passive and uninterested attitude in the class.3126 Sig.01 level (2-tailed) *Significant at the 0.135127 0.149321 0. Avoidant learners have always been the subject of interest among researches particularly on how to improve their behavior towards learning.094154 0.199989 0.013133 0.115550 0.4409 1.111742 0.9860 -1.094824 ** Highly significant at the 0.770961 0.090162 0.203161 -0. Such students if not always given attention to be encouraged will remain indifferent and inactive in most classroom activities.104921 0.

the surface approach to learning has consistently been found to negatively correlate with academic success. Kardash and Scholes (1996) wrote that the stronger the students’ beliefs in certainty. Indeed. specifically certainty of knowledge. helping students to acquire a sophisticated beliefs system about human knowledge is an important educational goal in itself and a means of enhancing academic achievement. It is more likely that this objective will be achieved if the materials used in the classroom represent the tentative nature of human knowledge Abdel-Majeed and Ismail (2005) found out in their study that three dimensions of epistemological beliefs. the students’ belief in the certainty of knowledge was found to predict the academic performance of the students.110 that high achievement can be predicted by a deep approach. the more they improve their performance in Biology. Approaches to learning are conceived as the individual differences in intentions a student has when faced with a learning task (Diseth and Martinsen. Similarly when the students believe that knowledge is definite. 2003). they will probably have significant long-term costs. Hence. there is a tendency for students to obtain lower grade in Biology. When the epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive ability. low academic achievement can be predicted by a surface approach to learning. In contrast. the more likely students are to endorse opinions that do not reflect the inconclusive nature of the information provided. They reflect the strategies an individual uses to achieve a particular goal. This means that the more the students believed that knowledge is tentative or everchanging as a result of knowledge development though personal experience. Because strong certainty beliefs prevent students from engaging in in-depth processing of information. . either alone or in combination with a strategic approach to learning.

school location. hierarchical regression was employed. The product of Z scores of independent variable and moderating variables were obtained to create new variables (e. the researcher focused on this particular learning strategy. parents’ educational attainment and parents’ occupation on the relationship of academic performance and learning styles.g. In this study. structure and integration of knowledge would have the tendency to obtain higher grades. family income. In .111 structure and integration of knowledge significantly predicted the academic performance of students in Saudi Arabia. z avoidant X z family income). since only the avoidant learning style was the one to have been found to predict the academic performance. ICT accessibility. Moderating Effect of Socio-demographic Characteristics to the Relationship of Learning Styles and Academic Performance In order to find the moderating effect of the socio-demographic characteristics such as age. All the resulting mean of the dimensions of learning styles were transformed into Z scores. gender. only the family income was found to be a moderating variable that interacts with the avoidant learning style as a result of regression. Hierarchical regression is a method used in order to determine which among the third variables would interact with the relationship of independent and dependent variables. With regards to socio-demographic characteristics. They pointed out that students who have sophisticated beliefs in the certainty.

This result may be attributed to the predictive ability of avoidant learning style to academic performance of the respondents but not their family economic status specifically their monthly income.112 the hierarchical regression. With this in consideration. The product of Z avoidant and family income. was entered in the second step with the performance in Biology as the dependent variable to find out whether moderating variables moderate the relationship between learning style and academic performance. one may say that teachers should focus more on the . A similar procedure was followed for the rest of the moderating variables. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable. the independent variable will still continue to influence the dependent variable. direct and indirect effects may emerge as result of the test. This means that students who have the tendency to adopt avoidant learning style will continue to have lower grades in Biology whether or not their family has low or high income. Results of the hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the family income did not moderate the relationship between the avoidant learning style and the academic performance of the students. for example. In short. with or without the moderating variable. the Z scores of the avoidant learning styles together with the moderating variable were entered as independent variables in the first step. The beta coefficient and its significant values were also identified. the effect of the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly. The direct effect is one in which the cause affects the outcome unequivocally rather than other variables. as economic status of students do not interfere with their learning process. In investigating causal relationship such as this.

One comment among those made by the children was. Since economic status is not an issue that matters on the academic performance of the students. The null case .113 improvement of the students’ learning style in order to enhance their academic performance. “ What hurts us more is that you teach us less. They questioned both children and adults on what they suspect are causes of this achievement gap. Figure 5. it can be seen that the figure depicts a null case. it is fair enough to quote an article by Haycock (2001) which addresses issues related to the achievement gap through research conducted by The Education Trust in the late 1990’s.’ “ Haycock (2001) concludes: “…we take the students who have less to begin with and then systematically give them less in school. Figure 5 shows the interaction of the moderating variable between the independent and the dependent variables. Interaction plot of family income on the relationship of avoidant learning style and academic performance of the students In this particular result.” What schools do obviously matters. What also matters is effective teaching. To further explain the lack of effect of family income on the learning style and academic performance relationship.

Masking off the other line in an interaction plot like this is a clear indication of no effect to IV-DV relationship. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable.114 is a situation where the moderating variable has no effect on the relationship of the independent (IV) and the dependent variables (DV). ICT accessibility. After testing potential moderating variables such as age. The discussion of the moderating effects being referred to in this study was further divided into direct effects and indirect effect. This figure assumes that even if the students belong to families with low or high income. Moderating Effect of Socio-demographic Characteristics to the relationship of Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance Hierarchical regression analysis was also utilized to determine which among the dimensions of epistemological beliefs would show significant interactions with the sociodemographic characteristics acting as moderating variables. Only one line for both levels in the graphs is visible because one line falls right on top of the other. school location. As discussed earlier. the effect of . family income. the direct effect is one in which the cause affects the outcome unequivocally rather than the other variable. hierarchical regression analysis showed that three of moderating variables produced significant interaction with the epistemological beliefs and academic performance. gender. it could be expected that students would still have low performance in Biology as a result of their adoption of avoidant learning style. parents’ educational attainment and parents’ occupation.

097 -0. Certainty of Knowledge Step 2 School location x Certainty of Knowledge -0. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly.049 7.005 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F. The moderating effect of school location on the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance is shown in Table 8.295 -2.000 0.682 3. it was established that the belief in the certainty of knowledge was identified as a predictor of students’ academic performance in Biology.201** 0.888** Sig 0. Direct Effects Earlier. the independent variable will just influence the dependent variable if the mediator variable is present. This means that the effect of their belief in the certainty of knowledge is induced by the type of school they attend. the test revealed that school location significantly moderated their relationship directly.308 t -0.115 the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary. In short.054 0.001 0. When hierarchical regression analysis was done in order to test which among the socio-demographic characteristics would significantly moderate the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance in Biology. Table 8. Change .778** 8.005 0.496 0. Moderating effect of school location to the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance β Step 1 School location Certainty of knowledge School Location. This implies that students with improved or sophisticated belief in the certainty of knowledge as a result of moderation brought about by the school location would have the tendency to get high grade in Biology.864** 0.

01 level The moderation of school location is most especially true for students who study in rural areas where their school location is seen to interact directly with their belief in certainty of knowledge. The school location does not seem to interact with students’ belief in certainty of knowledge. the higher the tendency for these students to improve their academic standing. With this in consideration. this interaction is not true for those who study in urban areas. it seemed reasonable to assume that rural schools teachers’ sensitiveness to improve their student’s epistemological beliefs especially their beliefs in the certainty of knowledge is practically appropriate in order to enhance their students’ academic performance in Biology. therefore. In order to further understand the interaction of the school location on the certainty of belief-academic performance relationship. It can also be seen that in the case of urban students. the interaction plot in Figure 6 explains the moderating effect of the school location. their academic performance is only affected by their belief in the certainty of knowledge. However. . Students from rural schools who generally have sophisticated belief in the certainty of knowledge have the greater capacity to improve their performance in Biology than those who have naïve beliefs.116 ** Highly significant at the 0. As these rural students believe that knowledge is not certain and that their knowledge is built from their own experience. their academic performance in Biology is not a result of the combinatory effect of school location and certainty of knowledge.

the more likely they were to draw conclusions that failed to take into account the inconclusive nature of information provided. Interaction plot of school location on the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance of the students Kardash and Scholes (1996) reported that beliefs about the certainty of knowledge predicted the types of conclusions drawn by high school students after reading mixed evidence on a controversial topic (causes of AIDS). certainty scores on both a domain-general and a domain-specific measure were the strongest predictors of academic achievement. The certainty dimension was also significantly related to achievement in a study with 326 first year college students (Hofer.117 Figure 6. 2000). The stronger the students’ beliefs in the certainty of knowledge. The higher their certainty scores. He found out that students in rural schools would have tendencies to improve . In this study. Sitoe (2004) found that school location was a significant predictor that affects the relationship between the students’ epistemological beliefs and the location where the students are studying. the lower the students’ academic standing.

their belief in omniscient authority will not influence their academic performance. The indirect of effects of ICT accessibility on the relationship of academic performance and omniscient authority and father’s educational attainment on the relationship of innate ability and academic performance were discussed separately. only in the presence of the moderating variable that the independent variable will influence the dependent variable. ICT Accessibility Hierarchical regression analysis shows that students who have sophisticated belief in the omniscient authority would significantly affect their academic performance if they have access to information and communication technology. accessibility to ICT and fathers’ educational attainment of the students were revealed to interact indirectly with the two dimensions of epistemological beliefs. Table 9 shows the moderating effect of ICT on omniscient authority – academic performance relationship. But since this is seen as an indirect effect. In further testing of several moderating variables. it should be noted that without the access to information and communication technology. respectively. Indirect effect Earlier it was emphasized that with regard to indirect effects.118 academic performance if their belief in certainty of knowledge becomes more sophisticated. the omniscient authority and innate ability. . This means that students would get higher grade in Biology if their belief in omniscient authority is significantly moderated by their access to information and communication technology.

Moderating effect of ICT to the relationship of omniscient authority and academic performance β Step 1 ICT accessibility Omniscient authority 0. e-libraries.110 1.024 t 0. Interaction plot of ICT to the relationship of omniscient authority and academic performance omniscient authority are more likely to have improved performance in Biology if they have access to basic ICT such as internet.911 13. Hence.974** 0.186 0. it .000 0.000 R2 Change Change Statistics F Change Sig F. Omniscient Authority Step 2 ICT accessibility x 0.340 3.738** Omniscient authority ** Highly significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) Figure 7 shows the interaction plot of the moderating variable on the independent and the dependent variables. those who believe that teachers and books are the ultimate source of information are likely to have lower grade only when ICT is considered.012 0. Change 0. On the other hand.404 0.088 0.119 Table 9. It can be seen that students who have sophisticated beliefs in Figure 7. since majority of the students have access to internet.774 0.328 ICT accessibility. etc.288 Sig 0.

Innate ability loses its influence on the students’ performance in Biology when the fathers’ education is not considered.120 would also be better that classroom activities be geared towards sophistication in their epistemology so that their performance in Biology would also be enhanced. Moderating effect of fathers’ educational attainment on the relationship of innate ability and academic performance Change Statistics . This result indicates that the students’ skill in manipulating ICT may be viewed as positively mediating the relationship between epistemological beliefs and their academic performance. Table 10. Father’s Educational Attainment Hierarchical regression analysis showed that students who have improved beliefs in the innate ability would significantly affect their academic performance if the fathers of the students had higher educational attainment. She suggested that classroom environment should emphasize more technologically driven teaching strategies. Table 10 shows the moderating effect of father’s educational attainment on relationship of innate ability and academic performance of the students. This suggests that the parental education such as that of the father may help in sophistication of epistemological beliefs which could in turn affect positively the academic performance of the students in Biology. This means that students who believe that knowledge is not inborn would have the higher likelihood of getting high grades in Biology especially if their fathers have high educational attainment. Barnard (2008) emphasized the need to improve the students’ epistemological beliefs through online learning to be able to produce significant improvement in the students’ academic achievement.

189 0.687 7. Students who have fathers who are college graduates and whose beliefs in innate ability are sophisticated are likely to have improved performance in Biology.01 Figure 8 shows the interaction of the moderating variable between the relationship of the independent and the dependent variables.057 0. This implies that in classroom where there are majority of students who have fathers who are non-college graduates.727** 0.023 0.792 -1.915 Sig 0. Interaction of father’s educational attainment to the relationship of innate ability and academic performance is inborn and whose fathers are not college graduates are more likely to have lower performance in Biology.007 0.437** 0. .121 β Step 1 Fathers’ educational attainment Innate Ability Fathers’ educational attainment. On the other.218 t -1.075 0.148 -0.307 2.007 R2 Change F Change Sig F. those students who believe that knowledge Figure 8. structuring classroom activities to develop mature belief in the innate ability may be done to facilitate enhancement of students’ performance in Biology. Innate Ability Step 2 Fathers’ educational attainment x Innate Ability -0. Change ** highly significant at p < .048 1.

namely. by inculcating in them the perception that ability is not innate and that knowledge is a result of the person’s own interaction to different sources of knowledge. innate ability and on the simplicity of the learning process. Revised Diagram of Learning Style. This particular result was congruent with Sitoe’s findings (2004) which also found on his study regarding the intervention of family level of education on the beliefs of students on the authoritative sources of knowledge. Independent variables LEARNING STYLES Avoidant EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS Certainty of Knowledge Omniscient Authority ICT Accessibility School Location Innate Ability Father’s Educational Attainment Academic Performance in Biology Dependent variables .122 On the basis of such outcome. Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance The predictive influence of learning style and epistemological beliefs through regression analysis have resulted to the revision of hypothesized diagram depicting the hypothesized relationships among independent. it is less likely to be found among those students whose parents have reached higher levels of education. dependent and moderator variables. that. it sounds fair to conclude that literacy and adult education among parents in countries like the Philippines may collaterally contribute to ‘epistemological growth’ (or ‘epistemological sophistication’) of their respective children. Figure 9 shows the revised path diagram of students’ learning style and epistemological beliefs towards students’ academic performance in Biology.

Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents which include age. hierarchical regression analysis revealed school location directly influence the relationship of certainty of knowledge and students’ academic performance in Biology. Revised path diagram of students’ learning style and epistemological beliefs toward their academic performance in Biology Legend for Figure 9 predictor Indirect effect Moderating effect The revision of hypothesized diagram to its new path diagram narrowed down the predictors of academic performance of students in Biology into avoidant learning style and certainty of knowledge. school. parents' educational background and parents' occupation are presented with their respective data in graphical form. On the other hand. Age distribution of the respondents . gender. respectively. location. ICT accessibility and father’s educational attainment indirectly influence the relationships between omniscient authority and students’ academic performance in Biology and innate ability and students’ academic performance in Biology.123 Figure 9. Age Figure 10 shows the age distribution of the respondents. ICT accessibility. The age of the respondents Figure 10.

The value of the standard deviation connotes that there is a small dispersion of age among respondents. the youngest respondents are 13 (10. majority of the respondents were 14 years old during their second year. hence.63 (Appendix E).124 ranged from 13 – 18 years old with the mean 14.6 % are males. The result revealed that more than half (52.4%) or 77 are females and 70 or 47. the age prescribed by the government to begin their education.4%). Majority of them are 14 years old (69. . Gender The distribution of gender of respondents is presented in Figure 11. This result implies that most of the respondents started their schooling at the age of 6.12 and standard deviation of 0.2 %) and the oldest respondent is 18 years old or 0.7 %. Enrolment for CLSU high schools showed that there were more females than males.

Mariano (2005). ULHS Bibiclat. these students need not go to the town proper to continue their secondary education. and Inocencio (1997) whose respondents in CLSU and Muñoz National High School were female dominated. Gender distribution of respondents This is in coherence with the studies earlier reported by Velasquez (2007). Castro (1979) stated in his study that this way. School Location Figure 12 shows that majority of the respondents.9 % or 88 are studying in rural schools. .125 Figure 11. The for reason being as such is that the three outreach schools. 59. Palusapis and Pinili are located in the barrios in order to cater to the needs of those students who live in the rural areas.

mostly access information and communication technology at home and not in school. Espino (2008) noted in her study about the ICT capability of schools in Nueva Ecija that most of the student respondents obtain their experience of using . These schools are those near the town proper and have access to internet cafes. Distribution of the respondents in rural and urban schools A total of 40. e-libraries. reading centers. A total of 106 or 72. reading centers and established libraries.1 % or 59 of the respondents disclosed that their schools are strategically located in urban communities.126 Figure 12. and fully equipped libraries.1 % of the respondents have access to basic information and communication technologies such as internet. ICT Accessibility Figure 13 below shows the distribution of respondents on ICT accessibility. These students enjoy the benefit of ICT.

Espino’s (2008) study revealed that most high schools of Nueva Ecija. Distribution of the respondents who have access to ICT A total of 41 or 27. Figure 14 shows that most of the 38. internet and landline connections. time frame. revealed that they have limited or no access at all to these technologies.8 % entered school finished fathers. or high and their 57 . budget plan and separate body for ICT.9 %. limited access to ICT equipment. had no appropriate master plan. Figure 13. Students have limited access and use of ICT equipment and rarely use ICT for school work. however.127 ICT from friends and classmates who bring them to nearby internet cafes. Parents' Educational Attainment For the educational attainment of the respondents' parents.

on the other hand.4% of them obtained vocational courses.7% had vocational course. the result of the study further revealed that majority of the mothers of the respondents. About 51 or 34. 64 or 43. 10 or 6. Twenty or 13. Similar results for the father’s educational attainment is in coherence with the results of respective studies of Mariano (2005).1% finished their elementary education.4 %. A total of 55 or 37. A total number of 22 or 15% attended graduate schooling and nine or 6. Distribution of the parents’ educational attainment Moreover. had been in college and finished their degree. Parents' Occupation The nature of work or job of the parents was classified into blue collar.7% were high school graduates. Figure 14. Leoveras (2001) and Inocencio (1997) who found out that majority of the CLSU students’ fathers were high school graduates. white collar jobs .128 secondary education.8% were elementary graduates and only five or 3. Only one or 0.6 % of the respondents' fathers attended graduate studies.5% enrolled and finished college.

cook and farmer. veterinarian.5 % had fathers whose line of work is categorized as white collar. Forty of the mothers or 27. Only two or 1. architect. nurse. Blue collar jobs are those occupations which entail manual and physical application (Carbonel. Distribution of the parents’ occupation Most of the mothers. This result can be attributed to their educational attainment wherein most of the fathers of the respondents finished secondary education.2% were non-earning or plain housewives. cook and farmer among others. jobless. plumber. food scientist. White collar jobs include police. etc. food scientists. engineer. Only 39 or 26. They were the professionals who work as teacher. government employee.129 and non-earning. doctor. 2008). A total of 42 or 28. majority of the respondents' father occupation (106 or 72. teacher. nurse. worker. Although most of the . driver. researcher. veterinarian and other degree holders. These include barber. Figure 15. As shown in Figure 15.4% were non-earning. vendor. domestic helper. or deceased. engineer. 65 or 44.6% had blue collar jobs whose line of work includes vendor.2% had white collar jobs. These include pastor.1%) was blue collar job.

9% of the respondents had high family income.957. It is usually the indicator of the parents’ ability to fulfill the basic necessities of the family including their children’s education. Distribution of respondents’ monthly family income fact that most of the parents had blue collar jobs so their income was considerably much . The result of this study is congruent with the studies of De Guzman (2005) and Inocencio (1997) whose respondents’ (CLSU students) fathers had blue collar jobs or mostly farmers and majority of mothers were plain housewives.130 respondents’ mothers enrolled and finished college. Monthly Family Income Figure 16 shows the distribution of the respondents’ monthly family income. majority still preferred to stay at home in charge of household chores. Majority of the respondents’ families (103 or 70. The 2007 report of the Department of Labor and Employment states that the poverty line is about Php 17.82 with the standard deviation of Php 45. This can be attributed to the Figure 16.93 (Appendix E). 652.1%) had low family incomes while only 44 or 29. Family income refers to the amount earned by all members of the family.00 per month.551. The mean monthly family income of the respondents was Php 25.

. In other words. The increase in poverty incidence is reported as caused by scarcity of job opportunities. The findings of this study are in coherence with the results of the studies of Velasquez (2007). almost 33 out of 100 Filipinos are considered poor. and poor economic policies (Molano. De Guzman (2005) and Mariano (2005) that majority of the Filipino families have incomes just below the poverty line. The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) estimated in 2006 that the poverty incidence in the country is equal to 32.9%. social and economic exclusion. 2010).131 lower than those with white collar jobs.

school location. ICT accessibility.2%) and dependent (21. This was also done to specifically determine the predictive ability and the relationship of the respondents’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles to academic performance.132 SUMMARY. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. participants (25. Pinili. gender. The results of the study showed that that there were more collaborative (33. participant and dependent were highly . A total of 147 sophomore students of SY 2009-2010 from the five high schools of the Central Luzon State University such as the University Laboratory High Schools Bibiclat. parents’ occupation and family income on the relationship between the respondents’ performance in Biology and their epistemological beliefs and learning styles was also investigated in this study. parents’ educational attainment. Agricultural Science and Technology School and the University Science High School participated in this study. A survey questionnaire comprising of three parts such as the Socio-Demographic Characteristics. Learning Styles Inventory developed by Grasha and Reichmann and Epistemic Belief Inventory by Schraw et al. The influence of moderator variables such as respondents’ age.1%) respondents with regard to their learning styles. Palusapis. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Summary This study was conducted to assess the epistemological beliefs and learning styles of students for the SY 2009-2010 in Biology in the five high schools of Central Luzon State University.3%). This prevailing behavior of being collaborative. was used in this study. correlational analysis and multiple regression analysis using Statistica and SPSS.

majority of the respondents tended to show immature or naïve responses with regard to the influence of the authority or the experts as most of them still regard their teachers as the ultimate sources of information. they tended to believe that knowledge is certain and evident when it comes to Biology. Students who scored high on avoidant learning styles are more likely to consider that ability is not innate and the learning is acquired gradually. most of the population (87. about 73.93 and 3. results revealed that independent learners had a tendency to have a sophisticated belief in the simplicity of knowledge. However. respectively.133 attributed to the cultural context and much of educational reforms in the Philippine education where there is a general shift of teacher-centered to student-centered setting. On the other hand. The significant correlation between the collaborative learning style and certainty of knowledge and innate ability may mean that learners who scored high on this kind of learning style believe that knowledge is constantly evolving and that whatever knowledge they have in Biology is a result of continuous experience.1% or 128) had emergent belief in all of the dimensions of their epistemological beliefs. With regard to the relationship between the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. The most evident of which is reflected in their beliefs in the “Quick Learning” and “Innate Ability” which showed of 2. As regards to their epistemological beliefs. They were undecided as to whether knowledge is “in born” or can be acquired through experience and knowledge is learnt quickly or not at all or can be obtained gradually. Dependent learning style had a tendency to believe that knowledge is complex and uncertain as a result of their .29. Majority of the respondents.4% or 108 were average performing students in Biology. in their innate ability and as well in the speed of knowledge acquisition in Biology.

hierarchical regression analysis revealed that none of the moderating variables moderated the relationship between the learning styles and academic performance. p<0.01) and the students’ performance in Biology. p<.266. Meanwhile.203.134 own experience and tended to believe less in omniscient authority. However. p<. Findings revealed that certainty of knowledge exerted influence on the students’ performance in Biology. On the other hand. Correlational analysis showed that there was significant relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance of students. p<0. such as participant (r=0. A significant but negative correlation was noted between the students’ avoidant learning style (r= -0. a highly significant relationship was noted in the learning styles of the respondents. Respondents’ whose learning styles such as participant and collaborative had the tendency to earn high grades.01) and their performance in Biology. p<.217.340.277. Regression analysis showed that avoidant learning style (β = -0. p<0.295. Competitive learning style had highly significant correlation with the beliefs of innate ability and quick learning and participant learning style has highly significant correlation with the simplicity and certainty of knowledge.05) were identified as predictors of academic performance in Biology.01).01).01) and father’s educational attainment indirectly affected the . the test revealed that school location had a direct effect on the students’ belief in certainty of knowledge and academic performance (β = -0. This suggested that students who practice avoidant learning style had the tendency to earn lower grade in Biology.288.01) and certainty of knowledge (β = 0. p<. ICT had an indirect effect on the omniscient authority belief and academic performance of students (β = 0. and collaborative (r=0.

however. p<.1% or 106 had blue collar jobs. Fathers were mostly high school graduates while mothers were college graduates. mostly farming and many of them had low family incomes (70. respondents were also found to be more participative learners than avoidant. Only a small number of respondents had sophisticated beliefs. The results of the study revealed that the students of the five high schools of CLSU are primarily female and majority of the respondents were 14 years old.135 relationship between the students’ belief in innate ability and academic performance (β = 0. Most respondents had a relative sophisticated belief about “Quick Learning” which means that they assumed that learning is of gradual process that changes over a period of . Conclusion On the basis of the results of this study.5% or 64). were mostly college graduates but remained at home to attend to household chores. With regard to the overall epistemological beliefs. they tend to be more dependent on their teachers and classmates than being independent when it comes to school activities. 72.1% or 103).01). despite. the occurrence of higher level of education. The mothers (43.307. the following findings were noted: 1. Most of these fathers.9% or 88 participants were from rural schools and they had access to information and communications technology. Most respondents had preference on collaborating with their classmates than competing with them. majority of the respondents had emergent or mixed beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the process of acquiring knowledge. A total of 59. 2. on the other hand.

participant learning style had highly significant correlations with the students’ belief in simplicity and certainty of knowledge and the omniscient authority. with Omniscient Authority in which case they mostly believed that the teachers are utmost authority or sources of knowledge in learning Biology. 4. Competitive learning styles. on the other hand. was highly correlated with the innate ability and quick learning beliefs and significantly correlated with simple knowledge beliefs of the students. students exhibited less sophisticated beliefs. 3. . In general. specifically in Simple Learning. Certain Knowledge and Innate Ability. on the other hand. Finally. They exhibited naïve belief.136 time. Most of the respondents were average performing students in Biology. Collaborative learning style had high positive correlation with the certainty of knowledge and significantly related with innate ability. Avoidant learning style had high positive correlation with quick learning and innate ability and significant but negatively correlated with the students’ belief in the certainty of knowledge. Dependent learning style had highly significant and positive relationship with the students’ beliefs in the simplicity and certainty of knowledge and omniscient authority and was significantly correlated with innate ability. Independent learning style had highly significant positive relationship with the students’ belief in simplicity of knowledge and innate ability and significant relationship with quick learning. Omniscient Authority.

mostly reached collegiate level. Avoidant learning style and certainty of knowledge were identified as predictors of academic performance in Biology. 9. though. principals. 6. were plain housewives. 10. 7. Respondents who have collaborative and participant learning styles would tend to perform better in Biology while those who exhibit avoidant learning styles were found to have lower achievement in Biology. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that school location had direct effect on the relationship of students’ beliefs in certainty of knowledge and academic performance while ICT had indirect effect on the omniscient authority beliefs and academic performance of students and father’s educational attainment indirectly affect the relationship between the students’ beliefs in innate ability and academic performance. Most of them had fathers who were high school graduates whose jobs were mainly farming. and policy makers should give enough importance to developing . Recommendations Based on the results of this study. Teachers.137 5. the following recommendations are made: 1. The respondents’ epistemological beliefs on certainty of knowledge had significant relationship with their performance in Biology. who were mostly 14 years old who studied in rural school and had considerable access to information and communications technology. 8. Their mothers. Most of the respondents are female. None of the moderating variables moderated the relationship of learning style and academic performance.

2. Trainings and workshops that would promote mature epistemological beliefs (sophisticated) and more positive learning styles (independent. 3. Students’ epistemological beliefs and learning style may be assessed to help the teachers in designing effective classroom activities. it is suggested that more appropriate approaches in analyzing data like structure equation modeling should be used. To further investigate the students’ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. In addition. . 5. Future studies should consider the teacher’s epistemological beliefs and teaching style and the relationship of these to students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles. Longitudinal studies can be conducted to examine the change of students’ epistemological beliefs. collaborative and participant) should be arranged by the teachers to help develop the skills of their students. This is to see whether change in epistemological beliefs can lead to better performance in Biology. 4.138 students’ epistemological beliefs and learning styles throughout their formal education. the use of other instruments which entail qualitative data that can be gathered using interviews and observation to substantiate the discussion on students’ epistemological beliefs is suggested.

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157 APPENDICES .

158 APPENDIX A – Sample Questionnaire Republic of the Philippines CENTRAL LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY Science City of Munoz INSTITUTE OF GRADUATE STUDIES Epistemological Beliefs, Learning Styles and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Five High Schools of Central Luzon State University General Direction: Please supply the information needed by putting a mark on the box or write down your answers wherever feasible. Name: ____________________(optional) Year and Section_______ Code No. ______ Part I. SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS Direction: Please supply the needed information by putting a check mark in the space provided before each statement or write down your answer(s) on the blank after each statement. Age _________ Gender ( ) male ( ) female ICT Accessibility ( ) accessible ( ) non-accessible Parents’ Educational Background Father: ( ) elementary graduate ( ) high school graduate ( ) college graduate ( ) college graduate with MA/MS units ( ) MS/MA graduate ( ) with Ph.D./EdD. units ( ) Ph.D/Ed.D. graduate Mothers’ Occupation ( ( ( ( ( ( ) farmer ) driver ) construction worker ) Overseas Filipino Worker ) nurse ) teacher Final grade in biology ______ School Location ( ) rural ( ) urban Family Income: ___________________ Mother: ( ( ( ( ) elementary graduate ) high school graduate ) college graduate ) college graduate with MA/MS units ( ) MS/MA graduate ( ) Ph.D./EdD. units ( ) Ph.D/Ed.D. graduate

Fathers’ Occupation ( ( ( ( ( ( ) farmer ) driver ) construction worker ) Overseas Filipino Worker ) nurse ) teacher

159 ( ) others please specify ______________________ Part II. EPISTEMIC BELIEF INVENTORY Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement to the following statements. If you strongly agree, for example, write the number 5 in the blank provided on the left. strongly disagree 1 moderately disagree 2 undecided 3 moderately agree 4 strongly agree 5 ( ) others please specify ______________________

________1. It bothers me when biology teachers don't tell students the answers to complicated biology problems. ________2. Truth in Biology means different things to different people. ________3. Students who learn things quickly in biology are the most successful. ________4. Students should always obey the law inside biology classroom. ________5. Some students in biology will never be smart no matter how hard they work. ________6. Absolute moral truth does not exist in biology. ________7. Teachers should teach their students all there is to know about biology. ________8. Really smart students don't have to work as hard to do well in biology. ________9. If a student tries too hard to understand a problem in biology, he will most likely end up being confused. ________10. Too many theories in biology just complicate things. ________11. The best ideas in biology are often the simplest ones. ________12. Students can't do too much about how smart they are in biology.

160 ________13. Biology teachers should focus on facts instead of theories. ________14. I like biology teachers who present several competing theories and let their students decide which is best. ________15. How well you do in biology depends on how smart you are. ________16. In biology, if you don't learn something quickly, you won't ever learn it. ________17. Some students in biology class just have a knack for learning and others don't. ________18. Some biology concepts are simpler than most biology teachers would have you believe. ________19. If two students are arguing about something in a biology class, at least one of them must be wrong. ________20. In a biology class, students should be allowed to question their teachers' authority. ________21. If you haven't understood a lesson in biology the first time through, going back over it won't help. ________22. Biology is easy to understand because it contains so many facts. ________ 23. The moral rules in Biology I live by apply to everyone in the class. ________ 24. In biology, the more you know about a topic, the more there is to know. ________ 25. What is true today in biology will be true tomorrow. ________ 26. Smart students in biology are born that way. ________ 27. When a biology teacher tells me what to do, I usually do it. ________ 28. Students who question biology teachers are trouble makers. ________ 29. Working on a problem in biology with no quick solution is a waste of time.

I study what is important to me and not always what 1 2 3 4 5 . 13. ________32. if you strongly agree with the statement. I find that Biology class is worth attending. I prefer to work by myself on assignments in my Biology class. 10. Part III. 9. Use a rating scale 3. as you answer each question. Use a rating scale 5. My ideas about Biology lessons often are as good as those in the textbook. Some students are born with special gifts and talents in biology. I do whatever is asked of me to learn in my Biology class. It is necessary to compete with other students to get a good grade in Biology class. Please respond to the items listed below by putting a check mark under the following scale: Use a rating scale 1. I often daydream during Biology class. Use a rating scale 2. Classroom activities in Biology are usually boring. 3. There is no right or wrong answer to each question. However. 6. 7. 2. form your answer with regard to your personal attitudes and feelings towards Science subject. 8. Statement 1. 12. 11. Sometimes there are no right answers to biology's big problems. 5.161 ________ 30. LEARNING STYLES Direction: The following questionnaire has been designed to help you clarify your attitudes and feelings toward learning in high school. 4. I want my Biology teacher to state exactly what he expects from the students. ________ 31. if you strongly disagree with the statement. I enjoy discussing my ideas about Biology with other students. it is necessary to compete with other students for my Biology teacher’s attention. if you are undecided with the statement. I rely on my Biology teacher to tell me what is important for me to learn. Working with other students on class activities is something I enjoy doing in my Biology class. You can study biology concepts for years and still not really understand them. To do well. if you moderately agree with the statement. if you moderately disagree with the statement. Use a rating scale 4.

I want clear and detailed instructions in Biology on how to complete assignments. 31. I complete assignments in Biology exactly the way my Biology teacher tells me to do them. I get more out of going to Biology class than staying at home. 34. I must compete with other students to get my ideas across. 28. I don't want to attend my Biology class. I learn a lot of Biology on my own. 37. 18. Students should be encouraged to share more of their ideas with each other in Biology class. Students should be more closely supervised by Biology teachers in doing Biology projects. 14. 25. 15. To get ahead in Biology class. 22. 20. 23. 30. 35. I enjoy hearing what other students think about issues raised in Biology class. In Biology class. Trying to decide what to study or how to do assignments in Biology makes me uncomfortable. Classroom activities in Biology class are interesting. I very seldom am excited about material covered in Biology. 27. Paying attention during Biology class is difficult for me to do. it is necessary to step on the toes of other students. I feel very confident about my ability to learn on my own in Biology. 26. Students have to be aggressive to do well in Biology class. 29. 19. I try to participate as much as I can in all activities in Biology. I like to study for tests in Biology with other students. It is my responsibility to get as much as I can out of my Biology class. Biology classes make me feel like part of a team where people help each other learn. I like to solve problems or answer questions in Biology before anybody else can. I have given up trying to learn anything from going to Biology class. 36. I like to develop my own ideas about Biology lesson.162 my Biology teacher says is important. 33. 24. 21. 16. 32. 17. I have my own ideas about how Biology classes .

55. I like to know how well other students are doing on exams and assignments in Biology. I study just hard enough to get by in Biology. . Being one of the best students in my Biology class is very important to me. 58. 51. 47. My notes contain almost everything the teacher said in my Biology class. Learning the lessons in Biology is a cooperative effort between students and teachers. 48. I prefer to work on class projects and assignments in Biology by myself. Students should be told exactly what topics are to be covered on Biology exams. 38. I typically complete assignments in Biology before their deadlines. I often sit toward the front of the room. 49. I complete assignments better than other students. 53. If I like a topic in Biology. I would prefer that my Biology teacher ignores me in class. I try to find out more about it on my own. In my Biology class. I am willing to help other students out when they do not understand something in Biology. I first try to figure it out for myself. An important part of studying Biology is learning to get along with other people. I complete required assignments in Biology as well as those that are optional. To stand out in my Biology class. 50. I want my Biology teacher to give me more recognition for the good work I do. 57. 39. 59. 43. 44. 41. I typically cram for exams in Biology. 40. 52. 46. When I don't understand something in Biology. I enjoy participating in small group activities during Biology class. I prefer Biology lessons that are highly organized. I do all assignments in Biology well whether or not I think they are interesting. I tend to socialize with people sitting next to me.163 should be run. 42. 54. 60. During Biology class. I want Biology teachers to have outlines or notes on the board. 56. 45.

164 .

SANTOS Researcher Noted: .165 APPENDIX B – Letter to the Principal Republic of the Philippines CENTRAL LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY Science City of Muñoz Nueva Ecija INSTITUTE OF GRADUATE STUDIES 14 June 2010 Prof. Relative to this. MA. MANANGAN School Principal. ROSIE S. JOHN PAUL E. Epistemological Beliefs. ULHS-Palusapis Science City of Munoz. he would like to humbly request your office to allow him to distribute the survey questionnaires to the sophomore students in your school for SY 2009-2010. He is due to conduct his research this coming school year entitled. Rest assured that the information gathered will be kept confidential Thank you and more power! Sincerely yours. Learning Styles and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Five High Schools of Central Luzon State University as partial fulfillment of the requirements for masteral degree. Nueva Ecija Madam: The undersigned is a Master of Science in Biology Education student at the Institute of Graduate Studies in Central Luzon State University.

166 EDEN S. DAVID. Thesis Adviser . Ph.D.

167 APPENDIX C – Sample of student’s permanent record .

2 10.47 Moderate 2 4 7 8 10 2.3 89.7 4.168 APPENDIX D – Epistemological Beliefs and Learning Styles Profiles of respondents Appendix Table 1.1 Competitive 10 6.89 3.4 Collaborative 49 33. Epistemological beliefs held by the sophomore high school students in Biology Frequency Percentage Epistemological Belief (N=147) % Emergent 128 87.2 Avoidant 8 5.6 83.7 12.9 60.1 Naive 17 11.8 Participant 37 25.3 Dependent 31 21.1 32.9 68. 15 3.0 33. Learning styles of sophomore high school students Frequency Percentage Learning Styles (N = 147) % Independent 12 8.92 3.4 Appendix Table 2.2 61.52 3.8 5.9 28. Moderate and Low .7 Moderate f % 94 10 1 18 90 16 89 63.2 Learning Style Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant High f % 38 42 12 2 49 13 1 48 25.82 Moderate High Moderate High Moderate Appendix Table 3.77 3.4 6.5 Low Descriptive Mean classification f % 10.8 2. Learning Style in High.6 Sophisticated 2 1.

53 0.89 3.60 0.92 3.82 SD 0. SD.52 3. Description and Rank APPENDIX E .77 3. Learning Style with their Mean.55 0.58 Descriptive classification Moderate Moderate High Moderate High Moderate % (High + Mod) 89.47 2.8 97.Tabular data of Respondents’ Socio-demographic characteristics Appendix Table 5.57 0.52 0. Respondents’ Socio-demographic characteristics Learning Style Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant Mean 3.169 Appendix Table 4.2 Rank 6 2 3 4 1 5 .5 100 93.3 95.2 94.

5 1.000 – 500.8 37.9 40.76 3.000 52.7 72.870 75 .0 0.4 19.1 34.0 73.2 70.2 69.4 47.6 15 102 29 1 14.4 28.1 29.6 3.93 4.12 0.63 13 – 18 77 70 88 59 106 41 10 57 55 20 5 9 51 64 22 1 106 39 2 42 40 65 103 44 25957.93 17.9 6.7 0.82 45551.4 9.2 44.1 72. Deviation Range GPA High academic performance (at least 88) Average academic performance (80 – 87) Low academic performance (below 80) Mean Std.6 27.9 10. Deviation Range Gender Female Male School location Rural Urban ICT Accessibility Accessible Non-accessible Father’s educational attainment Elementary level High school level College level Graduate level Vocational Mother’s educational attainment Elementary level High school level College level Graduate level Vocational Father’s occupation Blue collar job White collar job Non-earning Mother’s occupation Blue collar job White collar job Non-earning Family income Low family income High family income Mean Std.170 Characteristics Frequency (N = 147) Percentage % Age 13 14 15 18 Mean Std.1 27.1 26.4 6.6 59.8 38.7 .5 15. Deviation Range 25 108 14 83.4 13.7 43.

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