Intellectual values and epistemological understanding of middle school students in Indonesia
The main purpose of education is developing students’ competence and disposition to seek knowledge by themselves. Intellectual values was proposed as one of constructs that explain students’ disposition to acquire knowledge and refers to how people perceive the value of intellectual activities. This study aimed to get an initial description of how middle school students in Indonesia value the intellectual activities. The thinking of middle school students are generally based on absolutist or multiplist level of epistemological understanding. Before achieve evaluativist level, intellectual activities are assumed to be irrelevant or unnecessary. Thus it was predicted that intellectual activities is less appreciated among middle school students. Sixty eight middle school students, 12-15 old years, gave their responses to three questions about intellectual values. The early prediction is supported among this sample. It was found that only 24% of students consistently endorsing discussion in all three questions. Most of reasons given for endorsing discussion are still based on the absolutist or multiplist, only few students indicate the thinking of evaluativist level of epistemological understanding.
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