Examining epistemic frames in conceptual change research: Implications for learning and instruction

P. Karen Murphy, Patricia A. Alexander, Jeffrey A. Greene, Maeghan N. Hennessey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recently, research on the role of epistemic beliefs in conceptual change has increased dramatically. The focus of that research has largely been on students' beliefs about knowledge and knowing; that is, how one understands what it means to know. In this article, we consider the characteristics of knowledge and knowing (i. e., epistemic frames) manifest in conceptual change investigations conducted by contemporary researchers. To accomplish this purpose, we took several steps. First, we reviewed philosophical writings pertaining to epistemology and epistemological beliefs, selected prominent stances toward epistemology (i. e., epistemic frames), and delineated the defining features of each (e. g., stances regarding knowledge or justification of knowledge). Then, to illustrate how these philosophical frames might translate into psychological research, we constructed prototypic conceptual change studies for each frame. Finally, we searched the conceptual change literature for studies manifesting evidence of the various epistemic frames. We conclude with potential applications of the epistemic frames in future conceptual change research and educational practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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