Purpose: Epistemological beliefs of teachers are important factors on their perceptions of subject area and their classroom practices. This research aims to define epistemological beliefs of teacher candidates and investigates whether or not epistemological beliefs change according to teacher candidates’ gender, fields of study, year of study, and academic success.
Research Methods: This is a descriptive study that tries to find a relationship between teacher candidates’ epistemological beliefs and their academic success, gender, department, and year of study. Schommer’s Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire (EBQ) was applied to 564 teacher candidates from a public university. The Independent Sample t-test was applied to determine the relationship between epistemological beliefs with gender and grade level. In order to define if teacher candidates’ epistemological beliefs change depending on the registered program, a One-Way ANOVA for Independent Sample was used. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the relation between epistemological beliefs and success.
Findings: The results showed differences between female and male teacher candidates in all three factors of the epistemological beliefs questionnaire. Significant correlation was found between two factors of epistemological beliefs (belief that learning depends on effort and belief that learning depends on talent) and academic success at .01 levels.
Implications for Research and Practice: The descriptive analysis of the present study show that teacher candidates’ epistemological beliefs change according to gender, field of study, and year of study, and is correlated with academic success. There is a need for experimental studies on how the epistemological beliefs of teachers reflect in classroom practices.
Keywords: epistemology,epistemological beliefs questionnaire , teaching, teacher education.