Alpaslan, Muhammet Mustafa (2014-08). Descriptive Studies of the Relations between Personal Epistemology and Self-Regulated Learning. Doctoral Dissertation.
In my dissertation, I have examined the relations between students' personal epistemologies and self-regulated learning. I have conducted three independent studies for my three-article dissertation. The first study is a meta-analytic research of the relations between personal epistemology and self-regulated learning. I analyzed 40 published articles in the literature and computed an overall effect size for the reported relations between personal epistemology and self-regulated learning. I also examined the roles of the moderator factors (i.e., culture, age, sex, and subject area) on those relations. The meta-analysis revealed a small but statistically significant mean effect size (r=.24 under fixed effects model, and r=.22 under random effects model). The moderator analyses revealed that although students' grade level did not statistically significantly predict the relations under fixed- and random-effects models, the effects of culture, sex, and subject area on the relations were statistically significant. For my second study, I collected quantitative data at a high school in Turkey to explore the relations between the students' personal epistemologies and self-regulated learning. Two-hundred-nine high school students at the school in Turkey participated in the study. Results from the structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that students' personal epistemologies predict both their motivation and meta-cognitive strategies to learn physics. For my third study, I employed a case study in order to explore high school students' personal epistemologies in school science practice in a STEM charter school located in South Central United States. For this study, I observed nine students in a physics class and conducted individual and group interviews with them over six weeks. I audio recorded students' conversations in class. Results showed that the students hold na?ve beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge and knowing. The students viewed scientific theories as ideas or thoughts that needed to be tested. In their view, a school science experiment had either a correct or an incorrect answer. The three studies I conducted and report in this document help us better comprehend how personal epistemology is related to self-regulated learning and to design instruction to help students' understand the nature of scientific knowledge.