The epistemic beliefs of fourth graders about the verification of second-hand knowledge and its knowledge sources. Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Feucht, Florian C


  • Only little is known about the epistemic beliefs of elementary school children. In this exploratory study, semi-structured interviews were used to solicit epistemic beliefs of fourth grade students (n = 98; mean age = 10 years, 4 months) about the verification of second-hand knowledge. The data analysis was based on the Qualitative Content Analysis (Mayring, 2001), supported with Atlas.ti software, and yielded a high in interrater reliability (Cohen, 1960; κ = 0.94). In fourth grade students, a complex system of beliefs was identified about strategies of second-hand knowledge verification (independent strategies n = 8; dependent strategies n = 3), knowledge sources (human sources n = 4; non-human n = 4), and different source selection criteria (n = 8). Moreover, some students (n = 10) mentioned a cognitive process that they would employ to identify the best possible sources for the processes of knowledge verification, similar to following a decision tree. The discussion explores meaning of the identified multi-faceted and partially meta-cognitive nature of belief systems for the conceptualization of the developmental, dimensional, and situational frameworks as they exist currently.

publication date

  • 2017

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 20


  • 6