The relationship between epistemological beliefs, learning conceptions, and approaches to study: a cross-cultural structural model?
AbstractRecent research has shown interest in studying the relationship between epistemological beliefs and numerous aspects of learning. A new question interests us: Is this kind of relationship homogeneous across cultures? This study focuses on the relationship between epistemological beliefs, learning conceptions, and approaches to study. A sample of Chinese ( n = 299) and Flemish ( n = 324) first-year university students in Beijing, China and Flanders were involved in the study. A structural equation model (SEM) relating the three concepts was applied to the sample data, largely confirming the theoretical assumptions. The results validated the postulation that epistemological beliefs predict students' conceptions of learning, which in turn are related to specific approaches to study. Multiple group analysis using SEM was applied and the structural weights model was confirmed across the two cultural groups. Mean level variations of the three main concepts were detected between the Chinese and Flemish groups. The results identified in the study offer valuable contributions to a deeper understanding of the interplay between epistemological beliefs and student learning from a cross-cultural perspective. Implications for learning and instruction are discussed.