Modeling the Structural Relationship between Epistemological Beliefs Qualities of school life with Academic achievement of Adolescent Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student of Educational Psychology, Tehran Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Allameh Tabatabai

3 Professor of Psychology, University of Science and Research, Tehran, Iran


The aim of this study was to modeling structural relationship between epistemological beliefs qualities of school life with academic achievement. Correlation research was based on the structural equation modeling technique, specifically regression equations (combining path analysis and factor analysis of the second level). The statistical population consisted of all boys of the first year of secondary high school in Babol. In this study, 310 students were selected as sample size using multistage cluster sampling method. Data gathering tools, Shomor's epistemological beliefs questionnaire, school life quality questionnaire and average score of students as a measure of academic achievement were used. The findings showed that the research model was confirmed and, in general, 49% of academic achievement can be explained by epistemological beliefs, school quality of life, and academic procrastination. Also, the variables of epistemological beliefs have direct effects on the academic achievement. Epistemological beliefs with mediating the quality of school life show an indirect effect on academic achievement. The results of this study emphasized the necessity of the role of learners' beliefs and behaviors in relation to interactive quality with educational systems, which can provide applied concepts for improving academic achievement to counselors and learners.


  1. Abu-Galala, S., Al-Darwish, T., & Al-Bustangi, M. (2004). The effect of scholastic achievement in science on developing creative thinking skills among preparatory stage students in United Arab Emirates. Studies in Curriculum and Teaching Methods, 99,166-195.
  2. Ainley, J., & Bourke, S (1992). Quality of school life and intentions for further education: The case of a rural high school. Paper presented at annual conference of AARE. Adelaide.
  3. Aliyev, R., & Erhan, T. U. N. C. (2015). The investigation of primary school Students' perception of quality of school life and sense of belonging by different variables. Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 48, 164.‏
  4. Al-Nagdy, A. (2005). Critical thinking skills in social studies curriculum in primary education in Sultanate Oman. Studies in Curriculum and Teaching Methods, 107, 145-177 (In Arabic).
  5. Al-Salhi, A. (2001). Epistemological beliefs among Saudi college students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado. 
  6. Al-Shemri, Z. (2005). The questions of Arabic curriculum of the first grade (middle cycle) and their effect on developing thinking skills among female students according to Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive goals. Studies in Curriculum and Teaching Methods, 107, 93-141 (In Arabic).
  7. Arslanta┼č, H. A (2016). Epistemological beliefs and academic achievement. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4, 1, 2015-220.
  8. Babteen, H. (2009). The effect of multiple intelligences strategies in teaching science on developing conceptual understanding, scientific thinking, and achievement motivation among third grade students (Middle Cycle) in Mecca. Proceedings of 21stconference on developing curriculum between heritage and modernity, (pp. 1507-1569), Cairo, July 28-29 (In Arabic).
  9. Bendixen, L., Schraw, G., & Dunkle, M. (1998). Epistemic beliefs and moral reasoning. The Journal of Psychology, 132,187-200.

10. Biggs, J. (1987). Student approach to learning and studying. Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.

11. Borgerding, L. A., Deniz, H., & Anderson, E. S. (2017). Evolution acceptance and epistemological beliefs of college biology students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(4), 493-519.Braten, I., & Stromso, H. I. (2005). The relationship of epistemological beliefs, implicit theories of intelligence, and self-regulated learning among Norwegian postsecondary students. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 539-565.

12. Bromme, R., Pieschl, S., & Stahl, E. (2010). Epistemological beliefs are standards for adaptive learning: a functional theory about epistemological beliefs and metacognition. Metacognition and Learning, 5(1), 7-26.Cadima, J., Doumen, S., Verschueren, K., & Buyse, E (2015). Child engagement in the transition to school: Contributions of self-regulation, teacher–child relationships and classroom climate. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32, 1-12.‏

13. Cano, F. (2005). Epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning: Their change through secondary school and their influence on academic performance.  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 203-221.

14. Cano, F., & Cardelle-Elawar, M. (2004). An integrated analysis of secondary school students' conception and beliefs about learning.  European Journal of psychology of Education, 21,167-187.

15. Chan, C. K. and Sachs, J. (2001). Beliefs about learning in children understand of science texts. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 26, 192-210.

16. Chan, K. W. (2003). Hong Kong teacher education students' epistemological beliefs and approaches to learning. Research in Education, 69(1), 36-50.

17. Chen, J., & Pajares, F. (2010). Implicit theories of ability of grade 6 science students: Relation to epistemological beliefs and academic motivation and achievement in science. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 55-5.

18. DeBaker, T., Crowson, H., Beesley, A., Thoma, S., & Hestevold, N. (2008). The challenge of measuring epistemic beliefs: An analysis of three self-report instruments. The Journal of Experimental Education, 76, 281-312.

19. Duell, O., & Schommer-Aikins, M. (2001). Measures of people’s beliefs about knowledge and learning.  Educational Psychology Review, 13,419-499.

20. Dweck, C., & Leggett, E. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256-273.

21. Ekinci, N (2017). Examining the relationships between epistemological beliefs and teaching and learning conceptions of lower-secondary teachers.Inonu University Journal of the Faculty of Education, 18 (1), 344-358.

22. Gunuc, S., & Kuzu, A (2015). Confirmation of Campus-Class-Technology Model in student engagement: A path analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 114-125.‏

23. Gow, L., Balla, L., Kember, D., & Stokes, M. (1989). Approaches to study of tertiary students in Hong Kong. Bulletin of the Hong Kong Psychological Society, 22/23, 57-77.

24. Harties, C., Gruber, H., & Hertramph, H. (2010). How epistemic beliefs influence e-learning in daily work-life. Educational Technology and Society, 13,201-211.

25. Hendi, M. (2007). The effect of teaching a proposed integrated unit about science and agriculture on the development agricultural awareness and the attitude toward integration among student-teachers. Studies in  Curriculum and Teaching Methods, 123, 165-235 (In Arabic).

26. Higgins, K. (1997). The effect of year-long instruction in mathematical problem solving on middle-school students' attitudes, beliefs, and abilities. Journal of Experimental Education, 66, 5-28.

27. Hofer, B.K. (1999). Instructional context in the college mathematics classroom: Epistemological beliefs and student motivation. Journal of Staff, Program, & Organizational Development, 16, 73-82.

28. Hofer, B. K., & Pintrich, P. R (1997). The development of epistemological theories: Beliefs about knowledge and knowing and their relation to learning. Review of educational research, 67 (1), 88-140.‏

29. Hofer, B. K. (2000). Dimensionality and disciplinary differences in personal epistemology. Contemporary educational psychology, 25(4), 378-405.‏

30. Hussain, I., & Sultan, S (2010). Analysis of procrastination among university students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 1897-1904.‏

31. Jehng, J., Johnson, S., & Anderson, R. (1993). Schooling and students’ epistemological beliefs about learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 18, 23-35.

32. Karabenick, S., & Mousa, S. (2005). Culture and personal epistemology: U.S. and Middle Eastern students’ beliefs about scientific knowledge and knowing.  Social Psychology of Education, 8, 375-393.

33. Karam, E. (2004). Evaluating teacher's questions in social studies of first grade (Middle (Cycle) in the state of Kuwait: An analytical study. Studies in Curriculum and Teaching Methods, 97, 3-35 (In Arabic).

34. Karash, C. M., & Scholes, R. J. (1996). Effects of preexisting beliefs, epistemological beliefs, and the need for cognition on interpretation of controversial issues. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 260-271.

35. Kardash, C. A. M., & Scholes, R. J (1996). Effects of preexisting beliefs, epistemological beliefs, and the need for cognition on interpretation of controversial issues. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 260-271.‏

36. Kennell, B. L (1994). The relationship between parenting style and epistemological beliefs. Educational psychology, 113, 215 – 228.

37. Kember, D. (2000). Misconceptions about the learning approaches, motivation and study practice of Asian students. Higher Education, 40, 99-121.

38. Kember, D. (2001). Beliefs about knowledge and the process of teaching and learning as a factor in adjusting to study in higher education.  Studies in Higher Education, 26, 205-221.

39. Lin,T. Deng,F. Chai, C,S. Tasi C. (2012) High school students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, motivation in learning science, and their relationships: A comparative study within the Chinese culture. International Journal of Educational Development, 19 (1)125-136.

40. Lodewyk, K. (2007). Relations among epistemological beliefs, academic achievement, and task performance in secondary school students. Educational Psychology, 27, 307-327.

41. Lyndon, M. P., Henning, M. A., Alyami, H., Krishna, S., Zeng, I., Yu, T-C., Hill, A. G (2017). Burnout, quality of life, motivation, and academic achievement among medical students: A person-oriented approach. Prospect Med Education, 6 (2): 108-114.

42. Maggioni, L., & Parkinson, M. (2008). The role of teacher epistemic cognition, epistemic beliefs, and calibration in instruction. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 445-461.

43. Many, J., Howard, F., & Hoge, P. (2002). Epistemology and preservice teacher education: How do beliefs about knowledge affect our students' experiences?  English Education, 34, 302-322.

44. Marton, F., & Saljo, R. (1997). Approaches to learning. In F. Marton, D. Hounsell, & N. Entwistle (Eds.), the experience of learning (pp. 39-58). Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.

45. Mohamed. M. T. (2008). Personal epistemology of pre-service teachers and in-service teachers in time of reform. A paper presented in the Conference of Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association, Singapore (November, 26-28). 

46. Mohamed, M. T. (In Press). Socio-cultural factors of teachers' conceptions of knowledge: Epistemic beliefs of Arab teachers. Submitted to Teacher Development: An international Journal of Teachers’ Professional Development.

47. Muis, K. (2007). The role of epistemic beliefs in self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 42, 173-190.

48. Muis, K., & Franco, G. (2009). Epistemic beliefs: Setting the standards for self-regulated learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 306-318.

49. Nussbaum, E., Sinatra, G., & Poliquin, A. (2008). Role of epistemic beliefs and scientific argumentation in science learning.  International Journal of Science Education, 30, 1977-1999.

50. Pakdaman, A, Niusha,B Boreiri, L. (2013). Relationship between epistemological beliefs, self-regulated learning strategies and academic achievement. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 84,1160–1165.

51. Päuler-Kuppinger, L., & Jucks, R. (2017). Perspectives on teaching: Conceptions of teaching and epistemological beliefs of university academics and students in different domains. Active Learning in Higher Education, 18(1), 63-76.‏

52. Paulsen, M., & Feldman, K. (1999). Student motivation and epistemological beliefs. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 78,17-25.

53. Paulsen, M., & Feldman, K. (2005). The conditional and interaction effects of epistemological beliefs on self–regulated learning of college students: Motivational strategies. Research in Higher Education, 46, 731-768.

54. Perry, W. G. (1968). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme .New York: Holt Reinhart and Winston.

55. Ravindran, B., Green, B., DeBaker, T. (2000). Predicting preservice teacher cognitive engagement with goal and epistemological beliefs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American educational association in New Orleans.

56. Ricco, R., Pierce, S., & Medinilla, C. (2010). Epistemic beliefs and achievement motivation in early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence, 30, 305-340.

57. Rukavina, I., & Daneman, M. (1996). Integration and its effect on acquiring knowledge about competing scientific theories from text.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 272-287.

58. Ryan, M. P. (1984). Monitoring text comprehension: Individual differences in epistemological standards. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 248-258.

59. Saleh, M. (2009). The effect of using generative learning model on developing scholastic achievement in physics among first grade students (secondary schools) in Saudi Arabia. Proceedings of 21stconference on developing curriculum between heritage and modernity, (pp. 315-373), Cairo, July 28-29 (In Arabic).

60. Schommer, M. (1990). Effects of beliefs about the nature of knowledge on comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82,498-504.

61. Schommer, M. (1994). An emerging conceptualization of epistemological beliefs and their role in learning. In K. A. Feldman, & M. B. Paulsen (Eds.), Teaching and Learning in the College Classroom (pp. 173-183). New Jersey: Simon & Schuster. 

62. Schommer, M. (1998). The role of adults' beliefs about knowledge in school, work, and everyday life. In M. C. Smith, & C. T. Pourchot (Eds.), Adult learning and development: Perspectives from educational psychology (pp. 127-143). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrance Erlbaum Associates.

63. Schommer, M., Crouse, A., & Rhodes, N. (1992). Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so. Journal of Educational psychology, 84, 435-443.

64. Schommer, M., & Dunnell, P. (1994). A comparison of epistemological beliefs between gifted and non-gifted high school students. Roeper Review, 16,207-210.

65. Schommer, M., & Dunnell, P. (1997). Epistemological beliefs of gifted high school students. Roeper Review, 19,153-156.

66. Schommer, M., & Walker, K. (1997). Epistemological beliefs and valuing school: Considerations for college admissions and retention.  Research in higher Education, 38,173-186.

67. Schommer-Aikin, M. (2004). Explaining the epistemological belief system: Introducing the embedded systemic model and coordinated research approach.  Educational Psychologist, 39, 19-29.

68. Schommer-Aikins, M., Duell, O., & Hutter, R. (2005). Epistemological beliefs, mathematical problem-solving beliefs, and academic performance of middle school students. Elementary School Journal, 105, 289-304.

69. Schommer-Aikins, M., & Easter, M. (2006). Ways of knowing and epistemological beliefs: Combined effect on academic performance.  Educational Psychology, 26,411-423.

70. Schraw, G., Bendixen, L. D., & Dunkle, M. E. (2002). Development and validation of the epistemic belief inventory (EBI)? In B. K. Hofer and P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Personal epistemology: The Psychology of beliefs about knowledge and knowing (pp. 37-61). New Jersey: Erlbaum.

71. Schraw, G., Dunkle, M. E., & Bendixen, L. D. (1995). Cognitive processes in well-defined and ill-defined problem solving. Applied Cognitive psychology, 9,523-538.

72. Schommer, M., & Walker, K (1997). Epistemological beliefs and valuing school: Considerations for college admissions and retention. Research in Higher Education, 38 (2), 173-186.‏

73. Schommer, M. (1990). Effects of beliefs about the nature of knowledge on comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 498-504.

74. Schommer, M., Crouse, A. and Rhodes, N. (1992); Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 435-443.

75. Schommer, M. (1993). Comparisons of beliefs about the nature of knowledge and learning among postsecondary students. Research in Higher Education, 3, 355-370.

76. Schraw, G.; Dunkle, M. E. and Bendixen, L. D. (1995). Cognitive processes in well-defined and ill-defined problem solving. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 9, 523-528.

77. Simons, J., Dewitte, S., lens, W. (2004). The role of different types of instrumentally in motivation, strategies study, and performance: why do you learn? so you’ll know what you learn. British Journal of Educational psychology, 74. 343-360.

78. Steiner, L. (2007). The effect of personal and epistemological beliefs on performance in a college developmental mathematics class. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Kansas University.

79. Stoeger, H. (2006). First steps towards an epistemic learner model. High Ability Studies, 17, 17-41.

80. Strathopoulou, C., & Vosniadou, S. (2007). Exploring the relationship between physical and epistemological beliefs and physical understanding. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 255-281.

81. Tsai, C. (2000). Relationships between student scientific epistemological beliefs and perceptions of constructivist learning environment. Educational Researcher, 32, 281-290.

82. Tsai, C., Ho, H., Liang, J., & Lin, H. (2011). Scientific epistemic beliefs, conceptions of learning science and self-efficacy of learning science among high school students. Learning and Instruction, 21,757-769.

83. Verschaffel, L., De Corte, E., Lasure, E., Van Vaerenbergh, G., Bogaerts, H., & Ratinckx, E. (1999). Learning to solve mathematical application problems: An experimental design with fifth graders. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 1,195-229.

84. Wang, M. T., & Holcombe, R (2010). Adolescents’ perceptions of school environment, engagement and academic achievement in middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 47 (3), 633-662.‏

85. Weinstock, M. (2010). Epistemological development of Bedouins and Jews in Israel: Implications for self-authorship. In M. B. Baxter Magolda, E. G. Creamer, & P. S. Meszaros (Eds.), Refining understanding of the development and assessment of self-authorship (pp. 117-132). Sterling VA: Stylus.

86. Wood, P., & Kardash, C. (2002). Design of studies of epistemology. In P. Hofer, & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Personal epistemology: The Psychology of Beliefs about Knowledge and Knowing (pp. 231-260). New Jersey: Erlbaum.