THE PROCESSES OF LEARNING AND THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA (EHEA): THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS AND THE LOCUS OF CONTROL AS COGNITIVE BASES AND ITS DEVELOPMENT AT UNIVERSITY

The changes in the curricular and methodological aspects derived from the EHEA have suggested an analysis of the budgets upon which the process of teaching-learning at University are based. The model of teaching-learning that governs the educational practice of this system is centred on a subject that actively learns, this is to say a processor of information who is capable of giving meaning and sense to what has been learned. Therefore, the cognitive characteristics of the students appear prominently; these being their epistemological beliefs and their locus of control – two of the most prominent indicators. The objective of the current work is to analyse both characteristics in a study of 300 students at the University of Valencia. To do this, the EBS questionnaire (Wood and Kardash, 2002) was used along with Paulhus and van Selst’s (1990) Spheres of Control scale –SOC-3-. The results show a relative lack of adjustment in the epistemological beliefs and the locus of control to the demands of the EHEA and even a greater development in the old system. The results serve to go into further detail about the students’ cognitive characteristics as a diagnosis of this situation and a basic tool for the implementation of the methodology proposed by EHEA. Furthermore, a reflection on the need for modification of structural and cultural conditions of university teaching as a basis for training in the educational system is also generated. The results also provide information for teachers to improve the design and development of their teaching.