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Epistemic Goals

One of the major findings from cognitive research during the second half of the twentieth century is that how we reason is strongly influenced by the goals we pursue. Scientific reasoning, broadly speaking, is concerned with establishing causal or predictive explanations of the world and is therefore centrally concerned with what could be described as the coordination of claims and evidence. In science education, this coordination has been viewed primarily either in cognitive terms, as the acquisition and development of knowledge about the world and cognitive processes for claim-evidence coordination, or in sociocultural terms, as the appropriation of communal practices of producing and evaluating claims and evidence. (The term “claim” is used here in a very broad sense to subsume theories, which are typically networks of claims articulated to relate in ways that explain target phenomena, and more specific or granular claims of the sort, “x causes y.”) Within both perspectives, goals...


  • Epistemic cognition
  • Epistemological belief
  • Metacognition
  • NOS (nature of science)
  • Personal epistemology
  • Scientific reasoning

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Correspondence to William A. Sandoval .

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© 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Sandoval, W.A. (2015). Epistemic Goals. In: Gunstone, R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer, Dordrecht.

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