This paper outlines the development of a scale for investigating Hong Kong student teachers epistemological beliefs and the application of that scale. The scale has its genesis in the work of Schommer (1989, 1990) in North America. She proposed five theoretical dimensions of epistemological beliefs viz Simple Knowledge, Certain Knowledge, Fixed Ability, Quick Learning and Omniscient Authority and developed a 63 item questionnaire to investigate these. In subsequent factor analysis she identified only four such dimensions- with omniscient authority not identified. The scale developed by the authors incorporated dimensions labelled as Authority/ expert Knowledge, Certainty Knowledge, Innate/Fixed Ability, and Learning Process/Effort. This scale was used to investigate relationships of these four epistemological dimensions with age, gender, electives studied and course type. There was a significant difference between the Chinese and English course students and this is discussed in terms of the possible effect of traditional Chinese/Confucian culture and the impact of western culture and philosophy on the Hong Kong Chinese students.
|Published - Sept 2000