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Impact of Different Levels of Epistemic Beliefs on Learning Processes and Outcomes in Vocational Education and Training

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Epistemic beliefs are individuals beliefs about knowledge and knowing. Modelling them is currently based on two central assumptions. First, epistemic beliefs are conceptualized as a multi-level construct, i.e. they exist on a general, academic, domain-specific and or topic-specific level. Second, research assumes that their more concrete levels predict learning processes and outcomes more strongly than their more general levels. However, studies directly investigating these assumptions are still missing. 975 prospective retailers, wholesalers, bank assistants, and industrial assistants reported their grades and learning motivation in accounting and marketing as well as their epistemic beliefs in an effort to prove both assumptions within the context of Vocational Education and Training. Second-order confirmatory factor analysis confirms the multi-level conceptualization of epistemic beliefs. The findings here indicate a superiority of domain- and topic-specific epistemic beliefs compared to general epistemic beliefs for predicting motivation and achievement in marketing and accounting. The study concludes that domainand topic-specific epistemic beliefs explain different facets of learning phenomena. In addition, further research should concentrate more on both the domain- and topic-specific levels.

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