On the goals of epistemic education: Promoting apt epistemic performance

Sarit Barzilai, Clark A. Chinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent years have seen a surge in educational efforts to foster the development of learners’ epistemologies. Our 1st aim is to problematize some current assumptions about the goals of epistemic education and to argue that existing models of lay or expert epistemologies cannot directly translate into educational goals. Our 2nd aim is to present a fresh integrative analysis of the goals of epistemic education based on both philosophical arguments and empirical research. Synthesizing these sources, we propose that the overarching purpose of epistemic education is to promote learners’ apt epistemic performance, defined as performance that achieves valuable epistemic aims through competence. We identify 5 key aspects of epistemic performance that are important to achieving this goal: engaging in reliable cognitive processes that lead to the achievement of epistemic aims, adapting epistemic performance to diverse situations, metacognitively regulating and understanding epistemic performance, caring about and enjoying epistemic performance, and participating in epistemic performance together with others. Each of these aspects involves competent engagement with epistemic aims and value, epistemic ideals, and reliable epistemic processes. Our analysis can help educators plan and evaluate epistemic education and suggestsways inwhich current curricula might be better designed to promote epistemic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-389
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of the Learning Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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