‘How Much Politics Is There’? Exploring Students’ Experiences of Values and Impartiality from an Epistemic Perspective

In this article, we report findings of students’ conceptions of values and impartiality in political science teaching in relation to research on epistemic beliefs. This field of research concerns students’ beliefs about the nature of knowledge in different disciplines; beliefs that are central to learning disciplinary knowledge. Interviews were conducted with students after one semester of political science education, focusing on their experiences of values in teaching. Results show that students give contradicting answers regarding values and impartiality in political science teaching. They oscillate between different epistemic beliefs and they have an unclear understanding of the nature of knowledge in the discipline. Questions on the nature and limits of knowledge, therefore, need to be prioritized in political science education. If students are to become literate within their field, they need to become aware of the multiple epistemological underpinnings inherent in the discipline, and the ways these influence the discipline.

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License CC BY-NC-ND
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/15512169.2020.1730863
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 150 - Intro