INFLUENCE OF EMPIRICAL AND NON-EMPIRICAL BELIEFS ON EDUCATIONAL SKILLS: AN APPROACH FROM THE TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP

I. Ibarrondo1, G. Barandika2

1incoade (SPAIN)
2Universidad del País Vasco EHU (SPAIN)
The acquisition of transversal skills in education is a crucial aspect to be taken into consideration. The idea that students become leaders of their own learning process can be approached from the concept of the transformational leadership. In this sense, beliefs play an important role in the construction of mental constructs based on which knowledge and skills are acquired.
Beliefs are used to affirm or deny the “truth” in the context of a state of affairs or events. Therefore, they are closely linked to the way we look at the state of the world. Beliefs can be categorized by the content of the propositions, and several different categorization schemes are possible. In the philosophical literature, there is a long history in dividing beliefs into two groups: empirical and non-empirical. Empirical beliefs are those which could be tested on the basis of sensory experience. On the other hand, non-empirical beliefs are held on a different basis, such as intuition or pure logical deduction, and are non-testable. Based on this scheme, factual beliefs would be considered empirical, whereas ethical (and religious) beliefs would be considered non-empirical.
Taking into account the above mentioned aspects, in this work we explore the influence of empirical and non empirical beliefs on the acquisition of educational skills. We approach the matter from the concept of transformational leadership, using the classical scientific method as a guide. In fact, we have developed a comparative study that visualizes the model constructs in the context of both testable and non testable beliefs. One of the advantages of the scientific method is that models are provisional because they are under continuous revision, modification or even rejection. Visualization of the mental models that use leaders for their decision making can be helpful to be conscious of their provisional nature, focusing attention in designing the actions needed to achieve the desired goals.