In this chapter, I introduce the notion of student epistemologies and expectations, their views about what counts as knowledge and learning in a given physics class and in physics more generally. I then review some of the ways in which researchers have studied these constructs and make suggestions about getting started on your own research. A major theme is that important theoretical questions about the cognitive structures and processes underlying student epistemologies -- and how best to study them -- are not yet settled. Researchers therefore need to try to uncover and articulate the theoretical assumptions implicit in their research methods.
Published October 14, 2010
Last Modified January 8, 2011
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