Epistemic insight: a systematic problem and an ecosystemic solution.

Conference paper


Nassaji, M. and Gordon, A.J. 2020. Epistemic insight: a systematic problem and an ecosystemic solution.
AuthorsNassaji, M. and Gordon, A.J.
TypeConference paper
Description

Prior research points to systemic
challenges to the development of epistemic insight within the education system (Billingsley
et al., 2018). Epistemic insight refers to ‘knowledge about knowledge’, and particularly
knowledge about disciplines and how they interact. Gaining epistemic insight is about
developing an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of individual disciplines. There
is a basis to say that education is locked into particular ways of working which means that
schools are failing to stimulate and promote epistemic insight across curriculum areas of study
and in relation to Big Questions in particular. In our view, it requires a complex portfolio of
activities and interactions at multiple points within the educational ecosystem in order to break
a cycle that flows causally through systems at multiple different stages. Given the way that
pressures on the development of epistemic insight are applied at each stage of the educational
process, we argue for the necessity of interacting with multiple systems concurrently including
at the level of teacher training. We hypothesise, trainee teachers find themselves with little
knowledge of issues surrounding epistemic insight, its importance or how to effectively
promote it. They then enter schools, which individual students pass through successively
(from primary to secondary) facing distinctive pressures within each of these systems on the
way. In this presentation we will report on a survey study conducted among more than 500
trainee teacher in two Higher Education institutions in order to assess trainee teachers’ level of
epistemic insight. The baseline study indicated that there is a lack of epistemic insight among
trainee teachers. Only about 10% of respondents in the study were familiar with the term
‘epistemology’ while more than 90% said that they are familiar with the term pedagogy. More
than 80% of respondents stated that they would like to know more about how to teach Big
Questions, which suggests that the barrier today is not a lack of interest. More data analyses
on the assessment of the trainee teachers will be presented in the talk.

KeywordsEpistemic insight; Research
Year2020
ConferenceEpistemic Insight and Big Questions, LASAR 2020 Conference
Official URLhttps://www.epistemicinsight.com/lasar-2020-conference/
Related URLhttps://www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/conferences-events/2020/2020-06-22-epistemic-insight-and-big-questions.aspx
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File Access Level
Open
FunderTempleton World Charity Foundation (TWCF)
References

Billingsley B, Nassaji M,
Fraser S, et al. (2018) A Framework for Epistemic Insight. Research in Science Education 48:
1115-1131.

Publication process dates
Deposited31 Oct 2022
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/92z60/epistemic-insight-a-systematic-problem-and-an-ecosystemic-solution

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