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UNIVERSITY 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 and 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 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
2 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 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. There are efforts to study the influence of epistemological beliefs on various learning strategies. These studies investigated the use of strategies for specific tasks and in the contexts of traditional classroom learning. However, 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. It is also interesting to note, that in the past, little attention has been given to assess the influence of several moderating variables in the relationship between the students¶ academic performance, learning styles and epistemological beliefs. In the context of this objective, this study addressed the following questions: 1. What is the most dominant learning style among high school students in Biology? 2. What types of epistemological beliefs are possessed by the high school students in Biology? 3. What is the profile of student¶s academic performance in Biology during the school year 2009-2010? 4. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles in Biology? 5. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students¶ learning styles and academic performance in Biology?
3 6. Is there a significant relationship between the high school students¶ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology? 7. Do dimensions of the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs predict the academic performance of the students in Biology? 8. Is the relationship between learning styles and academic performance moderated by age, gender, school's location, ICT accessibility, monthly family income, parents¶ educational background, parents¶ occupation? 9. Is the relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance moderated by age, gender, school's location, ICT accessibility, monthly family income, parents¶ educational background, parents¶ occupation? 10. What are the socio-demographic characteristics of the CLSU sophomore high school students in terms of age, gender, school's location, ICT accessibility, monthly family income, parents¶ educational background, 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. This study was conceptualized to investigate whether students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles would predict their academic performance. Furthermore, it was conducted to test the moderating effect of several socio-demographic characteristics on the relationship of students¶ learning styles, epistemological beliefs, and their academic performance. Specifically, this study was conducted in order to: 1. find out the most dominant learning style among high school students in Biology; 2. ascertain the types of epistemological beliefs of the high school students in Biology; 3. determine the profile of student¶s academic performance in Biology during the school year 2009-2010; 4. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles in Biology; 5. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students¶ learning styles and academic performance in Biology; 6. determine if there is a significant relationship between the high school students¶ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology; 7. find out whether the dimensions of the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs predicted the academic performance of the students in Biology. 8. find out whether the relationship between learning styles and academic performance is moderated by age, gender, school's location, ICT accessibility, monthly family income, parents¶ educational background, parents¶ occupation; 9. establish whether the relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance is moderated by age, gender, school's location, ICT
learning styles and academic performance of high school students of five high schools of the Central Luzon State University. parents¶ educational background. respectively. The academic performance refers to the final grade obtained by the students in Biology. One hundred forty seven high school students from the University Laboratory High School Bibiclat. Scope and Limitation of the Study This study focused on ascertaining the epistemological beliefs. school's location. Agricultural Science and Technology School which is primarily an agricultural high school and the University Science High School that implements the science curriculum. parents¶ educational background. gender. parents¶ occupation. ICT accessibility. parents¶ educational background. determine the socio-demographic characteristics of CLSU high school students in terms of age. all satellite high schools of CLSU that execute Revised Basic Education Curriculum. parents¶ occupation on the relationship between the abovementioned variables. All of them are using the same reference materials. gender. This study also correlated epistemological beliefs and learning styles to academic performance and tried to look into the moderating influence of age. and 10. (2002) were used to assess respondents¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. parents¶ occupation. monthly family income. Palusapis. and Pinili.4 accessibility. The Learning Styles Inventory developed by Grasha and Reichmann (1996) and Epistemological Beliefs Inventory developed by Schraw et al. ICT accessibility. monthly family income. monthly family income. school's location. . were the respondents of this research.
dependent and moderator variables . Diagram of the hypothesized relationships among independent.5 METHODOLOGY Independent Variables EPISTEMOOGICAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS BELIEFS LEARNING STYLES Dependent Independent Collaborative Participant Avoidant Competitive Dimensions Certainty of Knowledge Simple Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning Types Naïve Emergent Sophisticated MODERATING VARIABLES Gender Age School¶s Location ICT Accessibility Monthly Family Income Parents¶ Educational Background Parents¶ Occupation Academic Dependent Variable Performance in Biology Figure 1.
Means and standard deviations obtained by the respondents in the dimensions of learning styles Learning Style Collaborative Participant Dependent Independent Competitive Avoidant Legend: 1.5. competitive and avoidant learning style.39 0. Students¶ responses varied according to the different dimensions of learning style under different reflections.19 4.82 3.37 0.38 0. Epistemological Beliefs of the Respondents Epistemological beliefs refer to how individuals come to know.4. the theories and beliefs they have about knowing.40 .6 FINDINGS Learning Styles of the Respondents Learning style describes the process learners used to sort and process information.2. how students learn and teachers teach. 1977).48 3. Table below shows the most dominant learning styles of the respondents.52 2. and student-teacher interaction (Witkin et al.28 0.59 2. Learning style is an important factor in several areas including students¶ academic achievement. Figure 2 shows the epistemological beliefs of the respondents. respondents exhibit relatively . undecided with avoidant learning style.89 3. Students were. Generally.3.20 .80 .63 Description Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Moderately Agree Undecided Table 1 reveals that the most dominant learning style among respondents was collaborative.77 3.1.92 SD 0.25 0. Table 1.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Overall 3.. 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. however. The rest of the respondents had independent.39 3.79 1.00 .60 . and the manner in which such epistemological premises are part of an influence on cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning.
quick learning. 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. Schommer et al. the more the students show sophistication in the different dimensions of epistemological beliefs. and certain knowledge. Perry (1970) also revealed in his study that younger learners move from viewing truth in absolute terms of right and wrong to recognizing multiple. The researchers concluded that all four epistemological beliefs. Epistemological beliefs held by the respondents in Biology It could be noted that majority of the respondents. high school seniors completed the SEQ in 1995.4% of the respondents were sophisticated in their beliefs. innate ability. Seventeen (17) or 11. simple. 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.6%. they may believe that knowledge is absolute. (1997) continued Schommer¶s (1993b) study about the development of secondary students¶ epistemological beliefs. simple and can be handed down by authority. 128 or 87. became more sophisticated as students matured . In this study. were still naïve or believed that knowledge is absolute.7 emergent beliefs among the various dimensions of epistemological beliefs. acquired quickly or not at all and that the ability to learn is fixed at birth. on the other hand. the lower the score. In this study. handed down by authority. Sophisticated learners believe that knowledge is tentative. complex. acquired gradually and the ability to learn can be changed. Only two or 1. They have the tendency to think that knowledge is tentative. or at times. As they grow older. complex. This group was a random sample of the students who started the questionnaire as freshmen in 1992. Figure 2. Emergent learners refer to students whose beliefs consist of combined characteristics found in sophisticated and naïve believers. and that the ability to learn can be changed. they start to adopt a more sophisticated viewpoint about knowledge and believe knowledge is changing and tentative. acquired gradually. simple knowledge. conflicting versions of ³truth´ representing legitimate alternatives as they mature. These students were found to have belonged to urban schools. In a longitudinal study.1 % were emergent. derived by reason.
The results revealed that majority of the respondents had an average performance in Biology with the mean rating of 83. Respondents with this kind of learning style have the . Although most of avoidant learners are inattentive and uninterested in the class.6% had a low academic performance or a grade just below 80. Table 2 shows the correlation between the learning styles of the respondents and their epistemological beliefs. on the other hand. Results revealed that independent learners had a tendency to believe in the complexity of knowledge. those students. Relationship Between Learning Style and Epistemological Beliefs of the Respondents The relationship between the respondents¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles was also investigated in this study. Figure 3.8 Profile of Students¶ Academic Performance in Biology The grade point average (GPA) of the respondents presented in Figure 3 refers to the average grade in Biology of the respondents during the school year 2009-2010. that learning can change anytime as well as in the gradual acquisition of knowledge in Biology. For them. Science and English. 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. to grasp concepts or ideas in Biology. facts must be presented in continuous manner to be able to absorb quickly.87. Distribution of respondents¶ grade point Majority of respondents about 108 or 73. Only 14 or 9. About 25 or 17% had a high academic performance. Their grades were at least 88. 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.76 and a standard deviation of 3.4% had a grade of 80-87 which means they have average performance. are more likely to consider that knowledge is a lifelong process and ability is not inborn. They also have the propensity to believe in the knowledge as a result of personal experience and to those facts they acquired gradually.
This may mean that dependent learners learn better Biology concepts as they realize that people learn through experience.295** 0. thus.082 0.323 0.001 0.099 0. This may indicate that dependent learners learn Biology if they perceive knowledge in its complex and indistinctive form. Competitive learners love to vie with others.001 0. This view may arise from their belief in the gradual acquisition of knowledge.064 0.05 level (2-tailed) Dependent learning style is highly correlated to the beliefs such as simple knowledge.090 0.000 0.247** Certainty of p-value Knowledge 0.278** 0.213** -0.261** 0. this teaches them to explore outside and to create or interpret knowledge according to their perspective.046 0. Since they always consider associating themselves with others. certainty of knowledge and omniscient authority.000 0 .01 level (2-tailed) * Significant at the 0.013 -0.403** 0.362** 0. Competitive learning style had highly significant correlation with the beliefs of innate ability and quick learning. Table 2.080 0.725 ** Highly significant at 0. 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.203* 0.021 0.163* 0.075 0.225 0. 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.190 0.235 0. While most of the time avoidant learners are associated with negative connotations when it come to learning.389** 0. This denotes that competitive learners believe that knowledge is highly integrated and interwoven.141 0.145 0.028 0.9 tendency to believe that knowledge is not inherent and that learning is gradually acquired when it comes to learning Biology. whatever knowledge they have is still evolving.212* 0.095 0.000 0.101 0.011 0. 1998).315** Epistemological Beliefs Innate Omniscient Quick p-value p-value p-value p-value Ability Authority Learning 0.117 0.294** 0. This belief may be explained by the fundamental attitude exhibited by the collaborative learners.205* 0. 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. they have the tendency to construct their own knowledge through their experience from others. Competitive learning style was also significantly correlated with the simplicity of knowledge. Dependent learning style was also significantly related with their belief in inner ability.049 0.366** 0.000 0. Relationship between learning styles and epistemological beliefs Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant Simple Knowledge 0.010 0. This may be attributed to their own behavior being negligent and uninterested in the class.254 0.181* 0.262** 0.009 -0.165* 0. 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. they may exhibit positive characters at times depending on activities and other classroom factors that may encourage them to be constructive (Sarasin.160 0.364 0.000 0.003 0.001 0.014 0.441 -0.000 0.029 0.000 0. For them to efficiently learn . hence.894 0.
Schommer and Hutter (2002) found links between epistemological beliefs and students' comprehension. The more the teachers give the learners the chance to collaborate with group activities. discussions and dynamics within the classroom.01) is observed between participant learning style and academic performance. Lastly. 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). It can be well remembered that participant learners are keen to the idea of learning from their association with others. p<0. 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. 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. Relationship Between Learning Styles and Academic Performance Learning styles are seen to be the most distinguished way a student learns or processes information.01) is also noted between collaborative learning style and academic performance of students. The more students believe in complex knowledge and gradual learning. progressively acquired and carefully integrated into a meaningful learning experience.10 concepts or ideas in Biology. p<0.266. the higher the tendency that students obtain higher grades.217. participant learning style has highly significant correlation with the simplicity and certainty of knowledge. 1999) in traditional contexts. It was stated previously that participant learners take pride in connecting not just only with their classmates but with their teachers as well. Kardash and Scholes (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. Table 3 shows the relationship between the learning styles and academic performance in Biology of the respondents. metacomprehension. knowledge should be encountered. If so. 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. Participant learners are also closely associated with the omniscient authority. 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 more likely that his grade in Biology improves. This is also true with students who are collaborative. the more likely they are to successfully comprehend. In many studies. . 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. A highly significant relationship (r = 0. and interpretation of text. A highly significant relationship (r=0. monitor their comprehension and strategize their learning. Many studies have investigated the influence of epistemological beliefs on learning strategies (Hofer. study strategies.
Similarly. 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. research suggests students learn with greater depth and complexity while enjoying the experience even more. The result implies that meaningful and thought provoking activities as well as encouragement from teachers. those who exhibit avoidant and competitive learning styles were the ones who have low scores in science CAT.350 -0.001 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. Likewise.090 0. 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. . Gerlach (1994) stated that the student-oriented goal of education is anchored on two learning theories such as cooperative and constructivist learning theories.266 ** p-value 0.11 Table 3. peers and parents as well may help improve avoidant students¶ attitude towards learning. 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. 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.277 0. 1996).217 ** 0.01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average 0. She found out that the students who exhibit these learning styles are found to have higher CAT scores. a highly significant but negative correlation (r= -0. Relationship between learning styles and academic performance Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant ** Highly significant at 0.008 0.000 0. Collaborative and participative learning describe the many educational approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students.094 0.01) is observed between the avoidant learning style and academic performance. When cooperative learning is incorporated into the classroom. p<0. he tends to obtain lower grade in Biology.288. 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.288 ** 0. Results of her study further revealed that respondents who exhibited avoidant learning styles tended to get lower grade in the science part of the CLSU-CAT. Consequently. uninterested or passive in the classroom especially toward activities.674 0. but also uses the experiences of others (Panitz. Results of the study are congruent with the findings of Carbonel (2008) and Mariano (2005). or students and teachers together. This means that these students who showed collaborative learning style significantly earned higher score in CAT.257 0. This may mean that when a student becomes neglectful. cooperative learning utilizes not only the student¶s own experience to solidify knowledge. While constructivism focuses on personal experience as the foundation for learning new material.
p<0. This may also mean that when students see knowledge in Biology as tentative or ever-changing. Distinctively.008 0.01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average -0. This shows a significant relationship existing between the students¶ academic performance and the certainty of knowledge.250 0.095 -0. this perception of education.01 Adjusted R²= 0. Their influence is rather indirect and it is exerted through perceptions of education. the certainty beliefs were specified mediating the influence of family background on final school grades. the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive influence on the respondents¶ academic performance in Biology. Furthermore.629 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. 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. Results of the study showed that certainty beliefs was found correlated significantly and negatively with final school grades (r = -0.1243. they tend to improve their performance in Biology.23. Trautwein and Ludtke (2007) examined the relationship between epistemological beliefs. for personal and material benefits. which privileges the ultimate ends of education rather than the learning process. p < 0.017 p-value 0. specifically the certainty of knowledge and school achievement.05) of the German students.12 Relationship Between Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance The relationship between the respondents¶ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology was presented in Table 4. . 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. Relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance Epistemological Beliefs Simple Knowledge Certainty of Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning ** Highly significant at 0. In turn.040 0. 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. In this study.921 0.308** 0. Results revealed that among the dimensions of learning styles.137). seems to have positive impact on academic achievement.000 0. In a longitudinal study. Table 4. 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.
2533* -0.3126 Sig.095192 0.4409 1.203161 -0.111742 0.110177 -0. the more they improve their performance in Biology. .9533** 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.119614 0. Because strong certainty beliefs prevent students from engaging in in-depth processing of information. Avoidant learners have always been the subject of interest among researches particularly on how to improve their behavior towards learning.115550 0.086049 0. When the epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive ability.025854 0.770961 0.008870 0.818257 0.093988 0. they will . This means that the more the students believed that knowledge is tentative or ever-changing as a result of knowledge development though personal experience.876700 0.325901 0.2302 -0. the students¶ belief in the certainty of knowledge was found to predict the academic performance of the students.167571 0. the more likely students are to endorse opinions that do not reflect the inconclusive nature of the information provided. the surface approach to learning has consistently been found to negatively correlate with academic success. This implies that students who were underachievers in the class are consequently those who portray passive and uninterested attitude in the class.2879 1.149321 0.Err. In contrast. Indeed.172346 0.4502 0.084482 0. there is a tendency for students to obtain lower grade in Biology. Such students if not always given attention to be encouraged will remain indifferent and inactive in most classroom activities.104921 0. Similarly when the students believe that knowledge is definite.755037 0.of Beta t 0.094824 ** Highly significant at 0.135127 0. Approaches to learning are conceived as the individual differences in intentions a student has when faced with a learning task (Diseth and Martinsen.9860 -1. low academic achievement can be predicted by a surface approach to learning. thereby. Table 5.090162 0. always continue to be the underachievers in the class. In their study about the students¶ approach to learning as predictor of academic achievement among respondents.029646 Std.0942 -2. They reflect the strategies an individual uses to achieve a particular goal. Kardash and Scholes (1996) wrote that the stronger the students¶ beliefs in certainty.199989 0.021917 -0.094154 0.277572 0. 2003). 0.925084 0.003710 0.01 level (2-tailed) *Significant at the 0. either alone or in combination with a strategic approach to learning.1554 2.025101 0.013133 0.151941 0. Table 5 shows the result of the multiple regression analysis between the learning styles and epistemological beliefs of the students. 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 0.2917 0. Diseth and Martinsen (2003) argue that high achievement can be predicted by a deep approach.13 the more they obtain lower grades in Biology.
hierarchical regression was employed. 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 . Hence. gender. All the resulting mean of the dimensions of learning styles were transformed into Z scores. school location. for example. In this study. In the hierarchical regression. They pointed out that students who have sophisticated beliefs in the certainty. A similar procedure was followed for the rest of the moderating variables. ICT accessibility. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly. since only the avoidant learning style was the one to have been found to predict the academic performance. the independent variable will still continue to influence the dependent variable. the researcher focused on this particular learning strategy. In short.14 probably have significant long-term costs. structure and integration of knowledge would have the tendency to obtain higher grades. The direct effect is one in which the cause affects the outcome unequivocally rather than other variables. 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. 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. 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. 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. The product of Z scores of independent variable and moderating variables were obtained to create new variables (e. z avoidant X z family income). structure and integration of knowledge significantly predicted the academic performance of students in Saudi Arabia. only the family income was found to be a moderating variable that interacts with the avoidant learning style as a result of regression. the effect of the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary. The beta coefficient and its significant values were also identified. with or without the moderating variable. 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. parents¶ educational attainment and parents¶ occupation on the relationship of academic performance and learning styles. family income. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable. In investigating causal relationship such as this. 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. specifically certainty of knowledge. the Z scores of the avoidant learning styles together with the moderating variable were entered as independent variables in the first step. direct and indirect effects may emerge as result of the test. The product of Z avoidant and family income.g. With regards to socio-demographic characteristics.
What also matters is effective teaching. Masking off the other line in an interaction plot like this is a clear indication of no effect to IV-DV relationship. To further explain the lack of effect of family income on the learning style and academic performance relationship. This figure assumes that even if the students belong to families with low or high income. as economic status of students do not interfere with their learning process. it could be expected that students would still have low performance in Biology as a result of their adoption of avoidant learning style. Since economic status is not an issue that matters on the academic performance of the students.¶ ³ Haycock (2001) concludes: ³«we take the students who have less to begin with and then systematically give them less in school. ³ What hurts us more is that you teach us less. Interaction plot of family income on the relationship of avoidant learning style and academic performance of the students In this particular result. 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.15 family has low or high income. The null case is a situation where the moderating variable has no effect on the relationship of the independent (IV) and the dependent variables (DV). 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. Figure 4. Only one line for both levels in the graphs is visible because one line falls right on top of the other. They questioned both children and adults on what they suspect are causes of this achievement gap. one may say that teachers should focus more on the improvement of the students¶ learning style in order to enhance their academic performance. . it can be seen that the figure depicts a null case. One comment among those made by the children was. Figure 4 shows the interaction of the moderating variable between the independent and the dependent variables. With this in consideration.´ What schools do obviously matters.
005 0. it was established that the belief in the certainty of knowledge was identified as a predictor of students¶ academic performance in Biology. Change -0.308 -0. 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. ICT accessibility.888** 0. parents¶ educational attainment and parents¶ occupation. The discussion of the moderating effects being referred to in this study was further divided into direct effects and indirect effect. the independent variable will just influence the dependent variable if the mediator variable is present. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly. In short. Moderating effect of school location to the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance t Step 1 School location Certainty of knowledge School Location. Certainty of Knowledge Step 2 School location x Certainty of Knowledge ** Highly significant at p < . When hierarchical regression analysis was done in order to test which among the sociodemographic characteristics would significantly moderate the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance in Biology.054 0. After testing potential moderating variables such as age.01 level Sig 0. The moderating effect of school location on the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance is shown in Table 6.097 -0. 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. Table 6. family income. As discussed earlier.001 0.000 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F. the test revealed that school location significantly moderated their relationship directly.005 . Direct Effects Earlier. This means that the effect of their belief in the certainty of knowledge is induced by the type of school they attend.778** 8.864** 0.496 0. gender. the effect of the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary.682 3.16 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.049 7.201** 0. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable.295 -2.
As these rural students believe that knowledge is not certain and that their knowledge is built from their own experience. the higher the tendency for these students to improve their academic standing. the more likely they were to draw conclusions that failed to take into account the inconclusive nature of information provided. In this study. The higher their certainty scores. Interaction plot of school location on the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance of the students Sitoe (2004) found that school location was a significant predictor that affects the relationship between the students¶ epistemological beliefs and the location where the . The stronger the students¶ beliefs in the certainty of knowledge. Figure 5. the lower the students¶ academic standing. With this in consideration. 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. therefore. the interaction plot in Figure 6 explains the moderating effect of the school location. 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. 2000). In order to further understand the interaction of the school location on the certainty of belief-academic performance relationship. 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). It can also be seen that in the case of urban students. certainty scores on both a domain-general and a domain-specific measure were the strongest predictors of academic achievement. The school location does not seem to interact with students¶ belief in certainty of knowledge. However. their academic performance is only affected by their belief in the certainty of knowledge. The certainty dimension was also significantly related to achievement in a study with 326 first year college students (Hofer. their academic performance in Biology is not a result of the combinatory effect of school location and certainty of knowledge. this interaction is not true for those who study in urban areas.17 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.
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.911 0.738** 0. But since this is seen as an indirect effect. Moderating effect of ICT to the relationship of omniscient authority and academic performance t Step 1 ICT accessibility Omniscient authority ICT accessibility.000 0.110 0. It can be seen that students who have sophisticated beliefs in omniscient authority are more likely to have improved performance in Biology if they have access to basic ICT such as internet. On the other hand.088 13. . Omniscient Authority Step 2 ICT accessibility x Omniscient authority ** Highly significant at p < . only in the presence of the moderating variable that the independent variable will influence the dependent variable. e-libraries. 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. Indirect Effect Earlier it was emphasized that with regard to indirect effects. since majority of the students have access to internet.328 0.000 Figure 6 shows the interaction plot of the moderating variable on the independent and the dependent variables.012 0. In further testing of several moderating variables.974** 0.340 3. He found out that students in rural schools would have tendencies to improve academic performance if their belief in certainty of knowledge becomes more sophisticated. it should be noted that without the access to information and communication technology. 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.404 0. respectively.18 students are studying. it would also be better that classroom activities be geared towards sophistication in their epistemology so that their performance in Biology would also be enhanced. accessibility to ICT and fathers¶ educational attainment of the students were revealed to interact indirectly with the two dimensions of epistemological beliefs.024 0. Table 7.186 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F. etc. Change 0. Hence.01 level Sig 0.288 1. their belief in omniscient authority will not influence their academic performance. the omniscient authority and innate ability.774 0. those who believe that teachers and books are the ultimate source of information are likely to have lower grade only when ICT is considered.
007 0.048 7.727** 0.19 Figure 6.915 0.792 -1. Interaction plot of ICT to the relationship of omniscient authority and academic performance 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. 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. Change -0.148 -0.057 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F. 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. 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.687 0. Table 8. Moderating effect of fathers¶ educational attainment on the relationship of innate ability and academic performance t Step 1 Fathers¶ educational attainment Innate Ability Fathers¶ educational attainment. She suggested that classroom environment should emphasize more technologically driven teaching strategies.023 1.307 2.075 0.218 -1.437** 0. Innate ability loses its influence on the students¶ performance in Biology when the fathers¶ education is not considered. Table 8 shows the moderating effect of father¶s educational attainment on relationship of innate ability and academic performance of the students.007 .01 level Sig 0. Innate Ability Step 2 Fathers¶ educational attainment x Innate Ability ** Highly significant at p < . 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.189 0.
innate ability and on the simplicity of the learning process. it sounds fair to conclude that literacy and adult education among parents in countries like the Philippines may collaterally contribute to µepistemological growth¶ (or µepistemological sophistication¶) of their respective children. Students who have fathers who are college graduates and whose beliefs in innate ability are sophisticated are likely to have improved performance in Biology. 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. On the other. hierarchical regression analysis revealed school . namely. 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. dependent and moderator variables. 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. Figure 7. Interaction of father¶s educational attainment to the relationship of innate ability and academic performance On the basis of such outcome. that. it is less likely to be found among those students whose parents have reached higher levels of education. those students who believe that knowledge is inborn and whose fathers are not college graduates are more likely to have lower performance in Biology. 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. Figure 8 shows the revised path diagram of students¶ learning style and epistemological beliefs towards students¶ academic performance in Biology. structuring classroom activities to develop mature belief in the innate ability may be done to facilitate enhancement of students¶ performance in Biology.20 Figure 7 shows the interaction of the moderating variable between the relationship of the independent and the dependent variables. Revised Diagram of Learning Style. This implies that in classroom where there are majority of students who have fathers who are non-college graduates. On the other hand.
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. school.2 %) and the oldest respondent is 18 years old or 0. .63.21 Independent variables LEARNING STYLES EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS Omniscient Authority ICT Accessibility School Location Innate Ability Academic Performance in Biology Father¶s Educational Attainment Dependent variables Legend for Figure predictor 9 Indirect effect Moderating effect Figure 8.4%). parents' educational background and parents' occupation are presented with their respective data in graphical form. ICT accessibility. Majority of them are 14 years old (69.7 %. This result implies that most of the respondents started their schooling at the age of 6. gender. respectively. majority of the respondents were 14 years old during their second year. Age Figure 9 shows the age distribution of the respondents. Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents which include age. the age prescribed by the government to begin their education. hence.12 and standard deviation of 0. The age of the respondents ranged from 13 ± 18 years old with the mean 14. The value of the standard deviation connotes that there is a small dispersion of age among respondents. Revised diagram of students¶ learning style and epistemological beliefs towards their academic performance in Biology location directly influence the relationship of certainty of knowledge and students¶ academic performance in Biology. location. the youngest respondents are 13 (10.
59. Age distribution of the respondents Gender The distribution of gender of respondents is presented in Figure 10. Castro (1979) stated in his study that this way. Mariano (2005). . Figure 10.9 % or 88 are studying in rural schools. ULHS Bibiclat. and Inocencio (1997) whose respondents in CLSU and Muñoz National High School were female dominated. Enrolment for CLSU high schools showed that there were more females than males. The result revealed that more than half (52. Palusapis and Pinili are located in the barrios in order to cater to the needs of those students who live in the rural areas. these students need not go to the town proper to continue their secondary education.22 Figure 9. Gender distribution of respondents This is in coherence with the studies earlier reported by Velasquez (2007).4%) or 77 are females and 70 or 47. School Location Figure 11 shows that majority of the respondents. The for reason being as such is that the three outreach schools.6 % are males.
revealed that they have limited or no access at all to these technologies. budget plan and separate body for ICT. Distribution of the respondents in rural and urban schools A total of 40. mostly access information and communication technology at home and not in school. Figure 12. 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 ICT from friends and classmates who bring them to nearby internet cafes. .23 Figure 11. had no appropriate master plan. time frame. Espino¶s (2008) study revealed that most high schools of Nueva Ecija. ICT Accessibility Figure 12 below shows the distribution of respondents on ICT accessibility. however. These students enjoy the benefit of ICT.9 %. These schools are those near the town proper and have access to internet cafes. and fully equipped libraries. reading centers.1 % of the respondents have access to basic information and communication technologies such as internet. Distribution of the respondents who have access to ICT A total of 41 or 27. internet and landline connections.1 % or 59 of the respondents disclosed that their schools are strategically located in urban communities. limited access to ICT equipment. A total of 106 or 72. Students have limited access and use of ICT equipment and rarely use ICT for school work. reading centers and established libraries. e-libraries.
teacher.7% had vocational course. These include barber. White collar jobs include police. 64 or 43.24 Parents' Educational Attainment For the educational attainment of the respondents' parents. 10 or 6. Only one or 0. Forty of the mothers or 27. engineer.5% enrolled and finished college. Only 39 or 26.4 %. Figure 13. Most of the mothers.2% had white collar jobs. A total number of 22 or 15% attended graduate schooling and nine or 6. doctor. jobless.8 % or 57 entered high school and finished their secondary education. They were the professionals who work as teacher. architect. These include pastor. A total of 55 or 37. Only two or 1.8% were elementary graduates and only five or 3. engineer.1% finished their elementary education. or deceased.7% were high school graduates. on the other hand. Blue collar jobs are those occupations which entail manual and physical application (Carbonel. food scientists. cook and farmer. vendor.6 % of the respondents' fathers attended graduate studies. . veterinarian. Leoveras (2001) and Inocencio (1997) who found out that majority of the CLSU students¶ fathers were high school graduates. nurse. Figure 13 shows that most of the fathers. majority of the respondents' father occupation (106 or 72.4% of them obtained vocational courses. cook and farmer among others. plumber. Parents' Occupation The nature of work or job of the parents was classified into blue collar.5 % had fathers whose line of work is categorized as white collar. worker. food scientist. had been in college and finished their degree.4% were non-earning. nurse. As shown in Figure 14. Distribution of the parents¶ educational Moreover.1%) was blue collar job. 38.6% had blue collar jobs whose line of work includes vendor. Twenty or 13. domestic helper. Similar results for the father¶s educational attainment is in coherence with the results of respective studies of Mariano (2005). researcher. veterinarian and other degree holders. white collar jobs and non-earning.2% were non-earning or plain housewives. 65 or 44. 2008). About 51 or 34. the result of the study further revealed that majority of the mothers of the respondents. government employee. This result can be attributed to their educational attainment wherein most of the fathers of the respondents finished secondary education. driver. A total of 42 or 28.
Although most of the respondents¶ mothers enrolled and finished college. Figure 14. Monthly Family Income Figure 15 shows the distribution of the respondents¶ monthly family income. Distribution of respondents¶ monthly family income . Family income refers to the amount earned by all members of the family.1%) had low family incomes while only 44 or 29. It is usually the indicator of the parents¶ ability to fulfill the basic necessities of the family including their children¶s education.25 etc. Distribution of the parents¶ occupation 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. 652. The mean monthly family income of the respondents was PhP 25.93 (Appendix E).9% of the respondents had high family income.00 per month.957. Majority of the respondents¶ families (103 or 70. This can be attributed to the fact that most of the parents had blue collar jobs so their income was considerably much lower than those with white collar jobs. Figure 15. The 2007 report of the Department of Labor and Employment states that the poverty line is about PhP 17. majority still preferred to stay at home in charge of household chores.551.82 with the standard deviation of PhP 45.
Most of the respondents were average performing students in Biology. they tend to be more dependent on their teachers and classmates than being independent when it comes to school activities. on the other hand. Omniscient Authority. however. respondents were also found to be more participative learners than avoidant. Only a small number of respondents had sophisticated beliefs. 2010). 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. Avoidant learning style and certainty of knowledge were identified as predictors of academic performance in Biology. They exhibited naïve belief. In general. With regard to the overall epistemological beliefs. De Guzman (2005) and Mariano (2005) that majority of the Filipino families have incomes just below the poverty line. Finally. Collaborative learning style had high positive correlation with the certainty of knowledge and significantly related with innate ability. 4. The respondents¶ epistemological beliefs on certainty of knowledge had significant relationship with their performance in Biology. Most respondents had a relative sophisticated belief about ³Quick Learning´ which means that they assumed that learning is of gradual process that changes over a period of time. 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. participant learning style had highly significant correlations with the students¶ belief in simplicity and certainty of knowledge and the omniscient authority. 5. 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.26 The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) estimated in 2006 that the poverty incidence in the country is equal to 32. . 3. In other words. 2. was highly correlated with the innate ability and quick learning beliefs and significantly correlated with simple knowledge beliefs of the students. with Omniscient Authority in which case they mostly believed that the teachers are utmost authority or sources of knowledge in learning Biology. 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. Conclusions On the basis of the results of this study. The findings of this study are in coherence with the results of the studies of Velasquez (2007). specifically in Simple Learning. social and economic exclusion. Competitive learning styles. majority of the respondents had emergent or mixed beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the process of acquiring knowledge. The increase in poverty incidence is reported as caused by scarcity of job opportunities. almost 33 out of 100 Filipinos are considered poor. students exhibited less sophisticated beliefs. Certain Knowledge and Innate Ability. and poor economic policies (Molano. 1.9%. on the other hand. the following findings were noted: Most respondents had preference on collaborating with their classmates than competing with them. 6.
5. Students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning style may be assessed to help the teachers in designing effective classroom activities. though. mostly reached collegiate level. Future studies should consider the teacher¶s epistemological beliefs and teaching style and the relationship of these to students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles. . Most of the respondents are female. Longitudinal studies can be conducted to examine the change of students¶ epistemological beliefs.27 8. principals. the following recommendations are made: 1. collaborative and participant) should be arranged by the teachers to help develop the skills of their students. 9. Most of them had fathers who were high school graduates whose jobs were mainly farming. In addition. 3. Trainings and workshops that would promote mature epistemological beliefs (sophisticated) and more positive learning styles (independent. and policy makers should give enough importance to developing students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles throughout their formal education. 10. This is to see whether change in epistemological beliefs can lead to better performance in Biology. To further investigate the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. were plain housewives. Recommendations Based on the results of this study. 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. Teachers. 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. None of the moderating variables moderated the relationship of learning style and academic performance. it is suggested that more appropriate approaches in analyzing data like structure equation modeling should be used. Their mothers. 2. 4. who were mostly 14 years old who studied in rural school and had considerable access to information and communications technology.
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