Abstract of Keynote Speech

Cultural Differences in the Epistemic Predictors for Science Reading
Fang-Ying Yang
National Taiwan Normal University

In the research of psychology, the epistemic cognition has been identified as the highest level of cognition mediating human activities. In science education literature, the significant role of epistemic cognition in guiding science learning has also been well documented. However, as shown in our literature review, the tracks of development and the effects of epistemic cognition were not the same across different countries. The phenomenon suggests the existence of cultural difference. An in-depth examination on the cultural difference in epistemic cognition will help educators understand why learners cultivated in different education systems develop different abilities over time. In this talk, I would like to address the issue of cultural difference by comparing epistemic beliefs and reader beliefs in science of learners from India and Taiwan. The reader beliefs in science, defined as a reader’s implicit model of reading reflecting his/her motivation to read, reading goal and strategies used for reading (Schraw & Bruning, 1996), is a psychological construct that was found to predict science text understanding in our recent study. Since reader beliefs in science by definition reflect a reader’s way of knowing from science texts, and in our previous study the construct was found to correlate significantly with epistemic beliefs in science, we regarded reader beliefs in science as a part of epistemic cognition. In the talk, I will present how epistemic beliefs and reader beliefs in science are interacting with each other and affecting science reading behaviors of learners in different cultures.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Fang-Ying Yang (Graduate Institute of Science Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan)

Fang-Ying Yang is a professor at National Taiwan Normal University in the Graduate Institute of Science Education. She received her doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1999. She served as the deputy dean of the Office of Research and Development at National Taiwan Normal University between 2013 and 2015, and was a visiting scholar at University of California, San Diego in 2012. She received Ta-You Wu Memorial Award in 2007 by Minister of Science and Technology in Taiwan, and has been granted many research awards by National Taiwan Normal University over her academic years. Her main research interests include development of scientific reasoning and personal epistemology, conceptual and epistemological development in science, effects of academic and social motivation on learning, process of science-text reading, and multimedia learning. She is now the coordinator of an eye-tracking laboratory in Graduate Institute of Science Education at National Taiwan Normal University. By employing various types of eye trackers, the eye-tracking laboratory aims to explore the processes of science learning in various learning environments, and probe the relations between learning processes and individual characteristics. Her research work is well recognized and has been continuously publishing papers in major international journals in science education and educational research such as International Journal ofScience Education, Computers & Education, Educational Studies, Instructional Science, and Educational Research Review.