One of the goals of a formative liberal education is to transform students’ ways of thinking, knowing and understanding.The aim is to assure that students function at the evaluativist level of thinking, which is reflected in the capacities to construct meaning, evaluate different perspectives, discern among competing claims, and constructively engage differences. This goal to transform students’ way of thinking and knowing, however, is rarely made explicit. This chapter discusses ways of knowing, the justification of knowledge, the epistemology of academic disciplines, and the role of educational practices in enabling students to develop evaluative thinking and a sophisticated personal epistemology. Research findings are reviewed regarding the progression in the development of students’ beliefs about knowledge, how these beliefs influence the processes of reasoning and learning, and effective pedagogical approaches for fostering development of evaluative thinking as necessary for moving beyond relativism and tolerance
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