Discipline-specific socialization: A comparative study Conference Paper uri icon


  • Do different disciplines cultivate different epistemologies? We draw on the epistemological framework of D. Kuhn et al. that delineates three perspectives absolutist, maintaining that knowledge is objective and immutable; multiplist, maintaining a radical relativism; and evaluativist, maintaining a qualified relativism. We conjectured that typical instruction in the humanities would tend to foster evaluativist views more than typiad instruction in the sciences. Twenty biology majors and twenty history majors evaluated competing accounts in biology, history and judicial contexts. Structured interviews concerning these accounts were used to assign each participant an epistemologicalview in each discipline. These results were considered in conjunction with learners' reports of their educational experiences. We were disappointed to find that there was an overall tendency toward absolutism. Our main …

publication date

  • June 29, 2010