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Peter Grainger
Mehmet Kamil Coşkun
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Mehmet Kamil Coşkun
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Global Journal of Teacher Education

Full Length Research Paper 

The effect of epistemological beliefs on teaching - learning conceptions of pre-service teachers of religion

1Mehmet Kamil Coşkun*,  2Peter Grainger

*1Muş Alparslan University, Turkey.

2University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia)

*Corresponding Author’s Email: mk.coskun@alparslan.edu.tr

Accepted April 23rd, 2014

Teaching and learning processes are influenced by different cognitive variables including epistemological beliefs and teaching/learning conceptions. Epistemo­logical beliefs express beliefs on the nature of knowledge and gaining knowledge (learn­ing). Teaching/learning conceptions refer to the beliefs held by teachers about their preferred ways of teaching and learning, including the meaning of teaching and learning and the roles of teacher and students. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between epistemological beliefs and teaching/learning conceptions among pre-service teachers of religion. The wor­king group of the study consisted of 387 students of Department of Islamic Sciences and Department of Religious Education at Muş Alparslan University in Turkey. Further analyses focused on whether teaching-learning conceptions differ based on gender, department and class-levels. Results indicated significant correlations between epistemological beliefs (Innate/Fixed Ability, Learning Effort, Learning Process - Casting Doubt on Authority / Expert Knowledge, and Certainty of Knowledge) and approaches to teaching and learning (Construc­tivist Conception, Traditional Conception). In addition, results showed that pre-service teachers of religion preferred constructivist approaches over more traditional app­roaches and their views differed based on discipline and class-level, but not on gender.

Key words: Epistemological beliefs, teaching – learning, pre-service teachers, religion, conceptions