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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
. all satellite high schools of CLSU that execute Revised Basic Education Curriculum. parents¶ occupation. monthly family income. All of them are using the same reference materials. parents¶ educational background. respectively. parents¶ educational background. Agricultural Science and Technology School which is primarily an agricultural high school and the University Science High School that implements the science curriculum. ICT accessibility. and 10. determine the socio-demographic characteristics of CLSU high school students in terms of age. parents¶ educational background. monthly family income. monthly family income. ICT accessibility. gender. gender. learning styles and academic performance of high school students of five high schools of the Central Luzon State University. Scope and Limitation of the Study This study focused on ascertaining the epistemological beliefs. One hundred forty seven high school students from the University Laboratory High School Bibiclat.4 accessibility. school's location. The academic performance refers to the final grade obtained by the students in Biology. school's location. were the respondents of this research. (2002) were used to assess respondents¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. This study also correlated epistemological beliefs and learning styles to academic performance and tried to look into the moderating influence of age. parents¶ occupation. Palusapis. and Pinili. parents¶ occupation on the relationship between the abovementioned variables. The Learning Styles Inventory developed by Grasha and Reichmann (1996) and Epistemological Beliefs Inventory developed by Schraw et al.
dependent and moderator variables .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. Diagram of the hypothesized relationships among independent.
25 0.1. undecided with avoidant learning style.59 2.37 0. respondents exhibit relatively .38 0. Students were.89 3.48 3.77 3.3. Generally.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. Figure 2 shows the epistemological beliefs of the respondents.40 .19 4. how students learn and teachers teach.20 .82 3.92 SD 0.28 0. and student-teacher interaction (Witkin et al.60 . the theories and beliefs they have about knowing.6 FINDINGS Learning Styles of the Respondents Learning style describes the process learners used to sort and process information.00 . Means and standard deviations obtained by the respondents in the dimensions of learning styles Learning Style Collaborative Participant Dependent Independent Competitive Avoidant Legend: 1.39 3.80 .79 1. Learning style is an important factor in several areas including students¶ academic achievement.2. Epistemological Beliefs of the Respondents Epistemological beliefs refer to how individuals come to know.52 2. Students¶ responses varied according to the different dimensions of learning style under different reflections. 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.4. 1977). and the manner in which such epistemological premises are part of an influence on cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning.. however. The rest of the respondents had independent. Table 1.00 Strongly Disagree Moderately Disagree Undecided Moderately Agree Strongly Agree Overall 3.39 0. competitive and avoidant learning style. Table below shows the most dominant learning styles of the respondents.5.
high school seniors completed the SEQ in 1995.4% of the respondents were sophisticated in their beliefs. or at times. They have the tendency to think that knowledge is tentative. the lower the score. they start to adopt a more sophisticated viewpoint about knowledge and believe knowledge is changing and tentative. and that the ability to learn can be changed. In this study. Sophisticated learners believe that knowledge is tentative. Emergent learners refer to students whose beliefs consist of combined characteristics found in sophisticated and naïve believers. simple and can be handed down by authority. became more sophisticated as students matured . Perry (1970) also revealed in his study that younger learners move from viewing truth in absolute terms of right and wrong to recognizing multiple. simple. Epistemological beliefs held by the respondents in Biology It could be noted that majority of the respondents. In a longitudinal study. and certain knowledge. As they grow older. 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.1 % were emergent.6%. Figure 2. the more the students show sophistication in the different dimensions of epistemological beliefs. In this study. simple knowledge. complex. conflicting versions of ³truth´ representing legitimate alternatives as they mature. 128 or 87. 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. they may believe that knowledge is absolute. Schommer et al. This group was a random sample of the students who started the questionnaire as freshmen in 1992.7 emergent beliefs among the various dimensions of epistemological beliefs. complex. derived by reason. Only two or 1. acquired gradually. were still naïve or believed that knowledge is absolute. Seventeen (17) or 11. handed down by authority. acquired quickly or not at all and that the ability to learn is fixed at birth. These students were found to have belonged to urban schools. on the other hand. quick learning. The researchers concluded that all four epistemological beliefs. innate ability. (1997) continued Schommer¶s (1993b) study about the development of secondary students¶ epistemological beliefs. acquired gradually and the ability to learn can be changed.
are more likely to consider that knowledge is a lifelong process and ability is not inborn. that learning can change anytime as well as in the gradual acquisition of knowledge in Biology. 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. on the other hand. Although most of avoidant learners are inattentive and uninterested in the class. 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.6% had a low academic performance or a grade just below 80. Respondents with this kind of learning style have the .76 and a standard deviation of 3. For them.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 2009-2010.87. Table 2 shows the correlation between the learning styles of the respondents and their epistemological beliefs. Figure 3. Science and English. to grasp concepts or ideas in Biology. facts must be presented in continuous manner to be able to absorb quickly. 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. those students. About 25 or 17% had a high academic performance. The results revealed that majority of the respondents had an average performance in Biology with the mean rating of 83. They also have the propensity to believe in the knowledge as a result of personal experience and to those facts they acquired gradually. Only 14 or 9. Distribution of respondents¶ grade point Majority of respondents about 108 or 73.4% had a grade of 80-87 which means they have average performance. Results revealed that independent learners had a tendency to believe in the complexity of knowledge.
725 ** Highly significant at 0. Since they always consider associating themselves with others.000 0.261** 0. This denotes that competitive learners believe that knowledge is highly integrated and interwoven. 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.05 level (2-tailed) Dependent learning style is highly correlated to the beliefs such as simple knowledge.009 -0. While most of the time avoidant learners are associated with negative connotations when it come to learning. Table 2.213** -0. hence.046 0.000 0.247** Certainty of p-value Knowledge 0. Relationship between learning styles and epistemological beliefs Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant Simple Knowledge 0.000 0.364 0.403** 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.075 0.165* 0.001 0.001 0. they may exhibit positive characters at times depending on activities and other classroom factors that may encourage them to be constructive (Sarasin. This view may arise from their belief in the gradual acquisition of knowledge. certainty of knowledge and omniscient authority.029 0.117 0.000 0.225 0.205* 0. Competitive learning style had highly significant correlation with the beliefs of innate ability and quick learning.099 0.212* 0.235 0. 1998). they have the tendency to construct their own knowledge through their experience from others. Competitive learners love to vie with others.366** 0.315** Epistemological Beliefs Innate Omniscient Quick p-value p-value p-value p-value Ability Authority Learning 0. This may be attributed to their own behavior being negligent and uninterested in the class.080 0.013 -0.049 0.014 0.082 0.000 0.441 -0. this teaches them to explore outside and to create or interpret knowledge according to their perspective. This may mean that dependent learners learn better Biology concepts as they realize that people learn through experience. thus.090 0.01 level (2-tailed) * Significant at the 0.181* 0.095 0.294** 0.000 0 .9 tendency to believe that knowledge is not inherent and that learning is gradually acquired when it comes to learning Biology.254 0.000 0. This belief may be explained by the fundamental attitude exhibited by the collaborative learners.262** 0. Competitive learning style was also significantly correlated with the simplicity of knowledge.190 0.145 0.894 0. whatever knowledge they have is still evolving.003 0.163* 0.011 0.021 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. For them to efficiently learn .028 0.323 0.010 0. Dependent learning style was also significantly related with their belief in inner ability.001 0.101 0.203* 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.160 0.064 0.389** 0.141 0.362** 0.295** 0.278** 0. This may indicate that dependent learners learn Biology if they perceive knowledge in its complex and indistinctive form.
If so. The more students believe in complex knowledge and gradual learning. A highly significant relationship (r = 0. p<0. It was stated previously that participant learners take pride in connecting not just only with their classmates but with their teachers as well. Relationship Between Learning Styles and Academic Performance Learning styles are seen to be the most distinguished way a student learns or processes information. It can be well remembered that participant learners are keen to the idea of learning from their association with others. metacomprehension. 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.266. 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. Table 3 shows the relationship between the learning styles and academic performance in Biology of the respondents. the more likely that his grade in Biology improves.01) is also noted between collaborative learning style and academic performance of students. In many studies. discussions and dynamics within the classroom. progressively acquired and carefully integrated into a meaningful learning experience. Schommer and Hutter (2002) found links between epistemological beliefs and students' comprehension. and interpretation of text. 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).01) is observed between participant learning style and academic performance. The more the teachers give the learners the chance to collaborate with group activities. 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. study strategies. Many studies have investigated the influence of epistemological beliefs on learning strategies (Hofer. 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. This is also true with students who are collaborative. the more likely they are to successfully comprehend. 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. knowledge should be encountered. 1999) in traditional contexts. Participant learners are also closely associated with the omniscient authority. the higher the tendency that students obtain higher grades. Lastly. participant learning style has highly significant correlation with the simplicity and certainty of knowledge.10 concepts or ideas in Biology. p<0.217. monitor their comprehension and strategize their learning. . 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. A highly significant relationship (r=0.
1996). 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. Results of the study are congruent with the findings of Carbonel (2008) and Mariano (2005). peers and parents as well may help improve avoidant students¶ attitude towards learning. p<0.257 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. The result implies that meaningful and thought provoking activities as well as encouragement from teachers.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. This means that these students who showed collaborative learning style significantly earned higher score in CAT.008 0. Collaborative and participative learning describe the many educational approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students. 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. Consequently.350 -0. cooperative learning utilizes not only the student¶s own experience to solidify knowledge.090 0. Likewise. Gerlach (1994) stated that the student-oriented goal of education is anchored on two learning theories such as cooperative and constructivist learning theories. While constructivism focuses on personal experience as the foundation for learning new material. She found out that the students who exhibit these learning styles are found to have higher CAT scores. 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. a highly significant but negative correlation (r= -0.000 0.217 ** 0. he tends to obtain lower grade in Biology. Similarly.266 ** p-value 0. or students and teachers together.674 0. When cooperative learning is incorporated into the classroom. 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.277 0. those who exhibit avoidant and competitive learning styles were the ones who have low scores in science CAT. research suggests students learn with greater depth and complexity while enjoying the experience even more. but also uses the experiences of others (Panitz.01) is observed between the avoidant learning style and academic performance. 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.288.11 Table 3.01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average 0.094 0. uninterested or passive in the classroom especially toward activities. Relationship between learning styles and academic performance Learning Styles Independent Avoidant Collaborative Dependent Competitive Participant ** Highly significant at 0.288 ** 0. This may mean that when a student becomes neglectful. .
008 0.23.000 0. Their influence is rather indirect and it is exerted through perceptions of education. This shows a significant relationship existing between the students¶ academic performance and the certainty of knowledge.095 -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.137). Results revealed that among the dimensions of learning styles.308** 0. Results of the study showed that certainty beliefs was found correlated significantly and negatively with final school grades (r = -0. . Table 4. seems to have positive impact on academic achievement.05) of the German students.017 p-value 0. In a longitudinal study. for personal and material benefits. Furthermore.01 level (2-tailed) Grade Point Average -0. 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. Trautwein and Ludtke (2007) examined the relationship between epistemological beliefs. specifically the certainty of knowledge and school achievement. The negative value of the regression indicates that as students favor avoidant learning style. the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive influence on the respondents¶ academic performance in Biology. the certainty beliefs were specified mediating the influence of family background on final school grades. this perception of education. which privileges the ultimate ends of education rather than the learning process.629 0. 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.1243.01 Adjusted R²= 0. p<0.040 0.12 Relationship Between Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Performance The relationship between the respondents¶ epistemological beliefs and academic performance in Biology was presented in Table 4. In this study.250 0. it was only the avoidant learning style that predicted the academic performance in Biology of students (F= 3.921 0. p < 0. they tend to improve their performance in Biology. This may also mean that when students see knowledge in Biology as tentative or ever-changing. In turn. Distinctively. Relationship between epistemological beliefs and academic performance Epistemological Beliefs Simple Knowledge Certainty of Knowledge Innate Ability Omniscient Authority Quick Learning ** Highly significant at 0. 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.
They reflect the strategies an individual uses to achieve a particular goal. thereby.2302 -0.2533* -0. This means that the more the students believed that knowledge is tentative or ever-changing as a result of knowledge development though personal experience.021917 -0.013133 0. either alone or in combination with a strategic approach to learning.025101 0.818257 0.770961 0. there is a tendency for students to obtain lower grade in Biology.01 level (2-tailed) *Significant at the 0.095192 0.199989 0. always continue to be the underachievers in the class.2917 0.755037 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 0. When the epistemological beliefs were tested for their predictive ability. Indeed. the more likely students are to endorse opinions that do not reflect the inconclusive nature of the information provided.4409 1.876700 0. they will .090162 0.111742 0.Err. Table 5 shows the result of the multiple regression analysis between the learning styles and epistemological beliefs of the students.325901 0. 0. Similarly when the students believe that knowledge is definite.025854 0.13 the more they obtain lower grades in Biology.115550 0.0942 -2.110177 -0.172346 0. the students¶ belief in the certainty of knowledge was found to predict the academic performance of the students.003710 0.1554 2. the more they improve their performance in Biology.3126 Sig.094154 0. low academic achievement can be predicted by a surface approach to learning.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. This implies that students who were underachievers in the class are consequently those who portray passive and uninterested attitude in the class. Diseth and Martinsen (2003) argue that high achievement can be predicted by a deep approach.008870 0.104921 0.925084 0. In contrast. Such students if not always given attention to be encouraged will remain indifferent and inactive in most classroom activities.151941 0. In their study about the students¶ approach to learning as predictor of academic achievement among respondents.149321 0.084482 0.029646 Std.9533** 0. Kardash and Scholes (1996) wrote that the stronger the students¶ beliefs in certainty.093988 0.of Beta t 0.135127 0.277572 0.167571 0. Avoidant learners have always been the subject of interest among researches particularly on how to improve their behavior towards learning.119614 0. . Approaches to learning are conceived as the individual differences in intentions a student has when faced with a learning task (Diseth and Martinsen. the surface approach to learning has consistently been found to negatively correlate with academic success.086049 0.2879 1.203161 -0. Because strong certainty beliefs prevent students from engaging in in-depth processing of information. Table 5.9860 -1.094824 ** Highly significant at 0. 2003).4502 0.
the researcher focused on this particular learning strategy. In this study. for example. hierarchical regression was employed. They pointed out that students who have sophisticated beliefs in the certainty. The product of Z avoidant and family income. 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 effect of the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary. Hence. z avoidant X z family income). specifically certainty of knowledge. The product of Z scores of independent variable and moderating variables were obtained to create new variables (e. the independent variable will still continue to influence the dependent variable.g. ICT accessibility. With regards to socio-demographic characteristics. since only the avoidant learning style was the one to have been found to predict the academic performance. parents¶ educational attainment and parents¶ occupation on the relationship of academic performance and learning styles. 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. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable. family income. only the family income was found to be a moderating variable that interacts with the avoidant learning style as a result of regression. direct and indirect effects may emerge as result of the test. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly. In short.14 probably have significant long-term costs. school location. 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. gender. The beta coefficient and its significant values were also identified. 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. 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 . 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. In investigating causal relationship such as this. 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. In the hierarchical regression. A similar procedure was followed for the rest of the moderating variables. All the resulting mean of the dimensions of learning styles were transformed into Z scores. structure and integration of knowledge would have the tendency to obtain higher grades. structure and integration of knowledge significantly predicted the academic performance of students in Saudi Arabia. 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.
one may say that teachers should focus more on the improvement of the students¶ learning style in order to enhance their academic performance. 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). This figure assumes that even if the students belong to families with low or high income. Interaction plot of family income on the relationship of avoidant learning style and academic performance of the students In this particular result. 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.¶ ³ Haycock (2001) concludes: ³«we take the students who have less to begin with and then systematically give them less in school. it can be seen that the figure depicts a null case.15 family has low or high income. . Since economic status is not an issue that matters on the academic performance of the students. What also matters is effective teaching. Figure 4. Masking off the other line in an interaction plot like this is a clear indication of no effect to IV-DV relationship. They questioned both children and adults on what they suspect are causes of this achievement gap. as economic status of students do not interfere with their learning process.´ What schools do obviously matters. ³ What hurts us more is that you teach us less. With this in consideration. 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. 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. it could be expected that students would still have low performance in Biology as a result of their adoption of avoidant learning style. Only one line for both levels in the graphs is visible because one line falls right on top of the other. To further explain the lack of effect of family income on the learning style and academic performance relationship.
201** 0. After testing potential moderating variables such as age.001 0.005 0.054 0.295 -2.005 .01 level Sig 0. Change -0. As discussed earlier.308 -0. The moderating effect of school location on the relationship of certainty of knowledge and academic performance is shown in Table 6. 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. Certainty of Knowledge Step 2 School location x Certainty of Knowledge ** Highly significant at p < . the effect of the moderating variable in the independent variable is necessary. the independent variable will just influence the dependent variable if the mediator variable is present. school location.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.000 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F. In order for the independent variable to cause a significant influence on the dependent variable. it was established that the belief in the certainty of knowledge was identified as a predictor of students¶ academic performance in Biology. parents¶ educational attainment and parents¶ occupation. In short. This means that the effect of their belief in the certainty of knowledge is induced by the type of school they attend. ICT accessibility.778** 8. Indirect effect on the other hand is described to which the cause affects the outcome implicitly or indirectly.097 -0. the test revealed that school location significantly moderated their relationship directly. gender. the direct effect is one in which the cause affects the outcome unequivocally rather than the other variable. Direct Effects Earlier. 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. family income. 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. The discussion of the moderating effects being referred to in this study was further divided into direct effects and indirect effect.888** 0.496 0. Table 6.682 3. hierarchical regression analysis showed that three of moderating variables produced significant interaction with the epistemological beliefs and academic performance.864** 0.049 7.
therefore. 2000). With this in consideration. the interaction plot in Figure 6 explains the moderating effect of the school location. 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). this interaction is not true for those who study in urban areas. the higher the tendency for these students to improve their academic standing. 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. It can also be seen that in the case of urban students. 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 . As these rural students believe that knowledge is not certain and that their knowledge is built from their own experience. In order to further understand the interaction of the school location on the certainty of belief-academic performance relationship. The stronger the students¶ beliefs in the certainty of knowledge. their academic performance in Biology is not a result of the combinatory effect of school location and certainty of knowledge. 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. In this study. Figure 5. the lower the students¶ academic standing. 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. However.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. The school location does not seem to interact with students¶ belief in certainty of knowledge. certainty scores on both a domain-general and a domain-specific measure were the strongest predictors of academic achievement. the more likely they were to draw conclusions that failed to take into account the inconclusive nature of information provided.
In further testing of several moderating variables. 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. etc. since majority of the students have access to internet. Change 0. it should be noted that without the access to information and communication technology.974** 0.18 students are studying. 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. .024 0.000 Figure 6 shows the interaction plot of the moderating variable on the independent and the dependent variables. 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.774 0.328 0. Indirect Effect Earlier it was emphasized that with regard to indirect effects.911 0. 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. On the other hand. only in the presence of the moderating variable that the independent variable will influence the dependent variable. But since this is seen as an indirect effect.000 0. Omniscient Authority Step 2 ICT accessibility x Omniscient authority ** Highly significant at p < .186 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F.404 0. e-libraries. Hence. 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. Moderating effect of ICT to the relationship of omniscient authority and academic performance t Step 1 ICT accessibility Omniscient authority ICT accessibility.340 3. accessibility to ICT and fathers¶ educational attainment of the students were revealed to interact indirectly with the two dimensions of epistemological beliefs. those who believe that teachers and books are the ultimate source of information are likely to have lower grade only when ICT is considered. the omniscient authority and innate ability. 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.738** 0.088 13. Table 7. their belief in omniscient authority will not influence their academic performance.288 1. respectively.01 level Sig 0.110 0.012 0.
687 0.148 -0.19 Figure 6. Innate Ability Step 2 Fathers¶ educational attainment x Innate Ability ** Highly significant at p < .057 Change Statistics R2 Change F Change Sig F.01 level Sig 0. 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.189 0. Innate ability loses its influence on the students¶ performance in Biology when the fathers¶ education is not considered.023 1.218 -1. 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.437** 0.048 7.915 0.075 0.792 -1.727** 0. 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. Table 8 shows the moderating effect of father¶s educational attainment on relationship of innate ability and academic performance of the students. 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. She suggested that classroom environment should emphasize more technologically driven teaching strategies.307 2. 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. Change -0. Table 8.007 0. 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.007 .
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. 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. Interaction of father¶s educational attainment to the relationship of innate ability and academic performance On the basis of such outcome. This implies that in classroom where there are majority of students who have fathers who are non-college graduates.20 Figure 7 shows the interaction of the moderating variable between the relationship of the independent and the dependent variables. it is less likely to be found among those students whose parents have reached higher levels of education. Revised Diagram of Learning Style. 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. 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. those students who believe that knowledge is inborn and whose fathers are not college graduates are more likely to have lower performance in Biology. hierarchical regression analysis revealed school . Figure 7. structuring classroom activities to develop mature belief in the innate ability may be done to facilitate enhancement of students¶ performance in Biology. 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. namely. On the other. On the other hand. innate ability and on the simplicity of the learning process. dependent and moderator variables. that.
Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents which include age. Age Figure 9 shows the age distribution of the respondents.2 %) and the oldest respondent is 18 years old or 0. respectively. Majority of them are 14 years old (69. parents' educational background and parents' occupation are presented with their respective data in graphical form. The age of the respondents ranged from 13 ± 18 years old with the mean 14.4%). the youngest respondents are 13 (10.12 and standard deviation of 0. hence.63. . gender. ICT accessibility. 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. the age prescribed by the government to begin their education. school. location. The value of the standard deviation connotes that there is a small dispersion of age among respondents. majority of the respondents were 14 years old during their second year.7 %. 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.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. This result implies that most of the respondents started their schooling at the age of 6.
The result revealed that more than half (52.6 % are males. Mariano (2005). . and Inocencio (1997) whose respondents in CLSU and Muñoz National High School were female dominated. Palusapis and Pinili are located in the barrios in order to cater to the needs of those students who live in the rural areas.4%) or 77 are females and 70 or 47. 59.9 % or 88 are studying in rural schools.22 Figure 9. ULHS Bibiclat. Age distribution of the respondents Gender The distribution of gender of respondents is presented in Figure 10. Enrolment for CLSU high schools showed that there were more females than males. Figure 10. Castro (1979) stated in his study that this way. these students need not go to the town proper to continue their secondary education. The for reason being as such is that the three outreach schools. Gender distribution of respondents This is in coherence with the studies earlier reported by Velasquez (2007). School Location Figure 11 shows that majority of the respondents.
internet and landline connections. Students have limited access and use of ICT equipment and rarely use ICT for school work. A total of 106 or 72. and fully equipped libraries. limited access to ICT equipment. These students enjoy the benefit of ICT. Espino¶s (2008) study revealed that most high schools of Nueva Ecija. reading centers. These schools are those near the town proper and have access to internet cafes. reading centers and established libraries. Distribution of the respondents who have access to ICT A total of 41 or 27. Distribution of the respondents in rural and urban schools A total of 40. budget plan and separate body for ICT. had no appropriate master plan. . time frame. 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.9 %. e-libraries.23 Figure 11. revealed that they have limited or no access at all to these technologies.1 % of the respondents have access to basic information and communication technologies such as internet. however. ICT Accessibility Figure 12 below shows the distribution of respondents on ICT accessibility.1 % or 59 of the respondents disclosed that their schools are strategically located in urban communities. mostly access information and communication technology at home and not in school. Figure 12.
Parents' Occupation The nature of work or job of the parents was classified into blue collar. doctor. Blue collar jobs are those occupations which entail manual and physical application (Carbonel.4% of them obtained vocational courses. Only two or 1. 2008). domestic helper. These include pastor. veterinarian. nurse. Only one or 0. Leoveras (2001) and Inocencio (1997) who found out that majority of the CLSU students¶ fathers were high school graduates. Figure 13 shows that most of the fathers.5 % had fathers whose line of work is categorized as white collar. Forty of the mothers or 27. 65 or 44. cook and farmer. engineer. white collar jobs and non-earning. A total of 55 or 37.6% had blue collar jobs whose line of work includes vendor. They were the professionals who work as teacher.6 % of the respondents' fathers attended graduate studies. driver. . architect. jobless. Similar results for the father¶s educational attainment is in coherence with the results of respective studies of Mariano (2005).4 %. majority of the respondents' father occupation (106 or 72.1% finished their elementary education.1%) was blue collar job. the result of the study further revealed that majority of the mothers of the respondents. As shown in Figure 14. cook and farmer among others. Only 39 or 26. A total of 42 or 28.7% were high school graduates. This result can be attributed to their educational attainment wherein most of the fathers of the respondents finished secondary education.7% had vocational course. nurse. veterinarian and other degree holders. researcher.8% were elementary graduates and only five or 3. A total number of 22 or 15% attended graduate schooling and nine or 6.8 % or 57 entered high school and finished their secondary education. Figure 13. had been in college and finished their degree.2% were non-earning or plain housewives. teacher. Twenty or 13. engineer. About 51 or 34. plumber. worker. These include barber. 10 or 6. food scientist. government employee. on the other hand. food scientists.4% were non-earning.2% had white collar jobs. 64 or 43. vendor.24 Parents' Educational Attainment For the educational attainment of the respondents' parents. 38.5% enrolled and finished college. White collar jobs include police. Most of the mothers. or deceased. Distribution of the parents¶ educational Moreover.
Figure 14. 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. Although most of the respondents¶ mothers enrolled and finished college.00 per month. Family income refers to the amount earned by all members of the family. 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.551. Figure 15.93 (Appendix E). majority still preferred to stay at home in charge of household chores.1%) had low family incomes while only 44 or 29. Majority of the respondents¶ families (103 or 70.9% of the respondents had high family income.82 with the standard deviation of PhP 45. The 2007 report of the Department of Labor and Employment states that the poverty line is about PhP 17. It is usually the indicator of the parents¶ ability to fulfill the basic necessities of the family including their children¶s education. Monthly Family Income Figure 15 shows the distribution of the respondents¶ monthly family income. Distribution of respondents¶ monthly family income .25 etc. The mean monthly family income of the respondents was PhP 25.957.
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. however. 2010). with Omniscient Authority in which case they mostly believed that the teachers are utmost authority or sources of knowledge in learning Biology. 5. Finally. Competitive learning styles. The findings of this study are in coherence with the results of the studies of Velasquez (2007). In other words. 3. . Avoidant learning style and certainty of knowledge were identified as predictors of academic performance in Biology. 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. Conclusions On the basis of the results of this study. With regard to the overall epistemological beliefs. Only a small number of respondents had sophisticated beliefs. 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. specifically in Simple Learning. 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. respondents were also found to be more participative learners than avoidant. They exhibited naïve belief. the following findings were noted: Most respondents had preference on collaborating with their classmates than competing with them.26 The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) estimated in 2006 that the poverty incidence in the country is equal to 32. 4. 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. The increase in poverty incidence is reported as caused by scarcity of job opportunities. 2. In general. 7. on the other hand. majority of the respondents had emergent or mixed beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the process of acquiring knowledge. 1. participant learning style had highly significant correlations with the students¶ belief in simplicity and certainty of knowledge and the omniscient authority. on the other hand. almost 33 out of 100 Filipinos are considered poor. De Guzman (2005) and Mariano (2005) that majority of the Filipino families have incomes just below the poverty line. 6. students exhibited less sophisticated beliefs. Omniscient Authority. Collaborative learning style had high positive correlation with the certainty of knowledge and significantly related with innate ability. The respondents¶ epistemological beliefs on certainty of knowledge had significant relationship with their performance in Biology. Certain Knowledge and Innate Ability. Most of the respondents were average performing students in Biology. and poor economic policies (Molano.9%. they tend to be more dependent on their teachers and classmates than being independent when it comes to school activities. was highly correlated with the innate ability and quick learning beliefs and significantly correlated with simple knowledge beliefs of the students. social and economic exclusion.
To further investigate the students¶ learning styles and epistemological beliefs. . and policy makers should give enough importance to developing students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles throughout their formal education. 2. This is to see whether change in epistemological beliefs can lead to better performance in Biology. 10. 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. mostly reached collegiate level. 4. principals. Their mothers. collaborative and participant) should be arranged by the teachers to help develop the skills of their students. 3. In addition. Most of the respondents are female. Most of them had fathers who were high school graduates whose jobs were mainly farming. Trainings and workshops that would promote mature epistemological beliefs (sophisticated) and more positive learning styles (independent. 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. who were mostly 14 years old who studied in rural school and had considerable access to information and communications technology. Teachers.27 8. the following recommendations are made: 1. Students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning style may be assessed to help the teachers in designing effective classroom activities. were plain housewives. 5. 9. Recommendations Based on the results of this study. Longitudinal studies can be conducted to examine the change of students¶ epistemological beliefs. though. Future studies should consider the teacher¶s epistemological beliefs and teaching style and the relationship of these to students¶ epistemological beliefs and learning styles.
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