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Young adults in college grow cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Educational psychologists have described students’ growth with models that include advancing stages in ways of knowing, aka epistemic beliefs. The typical progression of epistemic beliefs begins with dualism and progresses to multiplicity, then to relativism, and finally to commitment in relativism. Freshmen almost all have a dualist or multiplist way of knowing and do not progress to relativism without guidance and instruction. This normal evolution in ways of knowing has important implications for teaching information literacy within the ACRL’s Framework.



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