Mason Gava Boldrin - J Educational Psychology 2008

On warm conceptual change: The interplay of text, epistemological beliefs, and topic interest.
Journal of Educational Psychology. 2008 May Vol 100(2) 291-309

Mason, Lucia; Gava, Monica; Boldrin, Angela

The aim of this study was to go further than considering only cognitive factors to extend the understanding of the complex, dynamic underlying knowledge revision processes. Fifth graders were assigned to 2 reading conditions. Participants in 1 condition read a refutational text about light, whereas participants in the other read a traditional text. Within each reading condition, students had more or less advanced beliefs about scientific knowledge (complex and evolving vs. simple and certain), as well as high or low topic interest. Overall findings from pretest to immediate and delayed posttests showed that knowledge revision was affected by several interactions among the variables examined. Students who attained the highest scores at both the immediate and delayed posttests were those who had read the refutational text and had high topic interest, as well as more advanced beliefs about scientific knowledge. In particular, the refutational text was more powerful in prompting a restructuring of alternative conceptions about 2 of the 3 light phenomena examined. In addition, students preferred the innovative text to the traditional textbook text.