Teachers' personal epistemologies as predictors of support for their students' autonomy

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Abstract

Much of the research on teachers' personal epistemologies concerns their learning. Surprisingly little research has looked at how personal epistemologies are related to teachers' teaching and other aspects of their interactions with students. In this chapter we investigate teachers' personal epistemologies and the extent to which they predict autonomy-supporting behaviors. Such behaviors have been found to predict positive educational outcomes. Six hundred students in 21 Grade 7 and 8 classrooms were administered surveys regarding two aspects of autonomy support: The extent to which their teachers tried to take their perspective and provided them with rationales for prosocial behavior. At the same time, their teachers' personal epistemologies were assessed. Students of teachers scored as having advanced personal epistemologies reported that their teachers were more likely to take their perspective. We conclude that teacher education in personal epistemology and autonomy-supportive practices should have positive effects both for the teachers and their students.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonal Epistemology and Teacher Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages165-179
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780203806616
ISBN (Print)9780415883566
StatePublished - 23 May 2012

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