Anita Witt Mitchell; Longitudinal Study of Occupational Therapy Students’ Beliefs About Knowledge and Knowing. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(2):6902230010p1-6902230010p8. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.015008.
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© 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association
Research has demonstrated the importance of beliefs about knowledge and knowing, or epistemic and ontological cognition (EOC), to learning and achievement; however, little research has examined occupational therapy students’ EOC or determined whether occupational therapy programs promote its development. This study examined changes in EOC over 18 mo of didactic coursework in an occupational therapy program. Thirty-one students completed the Epistemic Beliefs Inventory at the beginning, middle, and end of 18 mo of didactic coursework. Results indicated no difference in ontological cognition. However, change occurred in epistemic cognition, with students demonstrating statistically significantly weaker beliefs in justification of knowledge by an omniscient authority by the end of the didactic portion of the program. Although causal inferences cannot be made from this small study of one cohort of occupational therapy students, it is possible that intensive study in the discipline of occupational therapy contributed to change in these students’ epistemic cognition.
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