Educational Beliefs Questionnaire

Silvernail, D. L. (1992). The development and factor structure of the Educational Beliefs Questionnaire. Educational and Psychological Measurement 52:663–67.


The 20-item Educational Beliefs Questionnaire (EBQ) measures beliefs about five educational concepts by using five educational philosophies. Additional research will determine whether the three-factor solution is viable. The author suggests using a structured interview in addition to the EBQ to see if the verbal beliefs and written beliefs of participants are congruent. This would provide an alternate way of determining the validity of the EBQ.

Scale Construction:

This 67-item pilot instrument was built upon the work of Kerlinger and Kaya. A 5×5 item grid was developed using five educational philosophies (essentialism, traditionalism, progressivism, reconstructivism, and existentialism) and five educational concepts (the purpose of schools, curriculum content, methods of instruction, the role of the teacher, and the role of the student). After a panel of three educational theorists reviewed the items, the 25-item EBQ was administered to a group of volunteers.


The sample consisted of 610 volunteer teachers K–12 from 11 schools in a state in northern New England.


Alpha coefficients were 0.71 (perennialism orientation), 0.72 (romanticism orientation), and 0.64 (progressivism) with a total scale coefficient of 0.73.


Face validity was established by the panel of judges who reviewed the items for clarity and accuracy. Con- struct validity was determined through various factor analytic procedures.

Factor Analysis:

Factor analysis with a varimax rotation yielded a final three-factor solution. The three factors are: seven items on perennialism orientation (1–7); nine items on romanticism orientation (8–16); and four items on progressivism (17–20). Factor loadings are reported.

Definition of Factors:

Perennialism orientation refers to the philosophies of essentialism and traditionalism; it contains items that relate to the importance of schools in transmitting cultural heritage and strong authority roles for teachers. Romanticism orientation refers to the philosophies of reconstructivism and existentialism; it contains items that relate to the importance of schools as sources of new social ideas and individual self-awareness and the role of teachers as facilitators in the natural development of youngsters. Progressivism refers to the progressive philosophy found in the instruments developed by Kerlinger and Kaya; it contains items that relate to the role of schools in developing socially conscious adults and the importance of acquiring problem-solving skills and knowledge.


Adams, C. S. (2011). Demands of dualism: Literacy and content area instructional beliefs in Alabama high schools. PhD dissertation, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Kerlinger, F., and Kaya, E. (1959). The construction and factor analytic validation of scales to measure attitudes toward education. Educational and Psychological Measurement 19:13–29.

Silvernail, D. L., and Goldsberry, L. (1992). The development and validation of an Educational Philosophy Beliefs Questionnaire: Work in Progress. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association.

Educational Beliefs Questionnaire

The following are not complete statements. In the total instrument, an appropriate cue is provided for each of the item stems listed next.

1. Students need more supervision
2. Drill/factual knowledge important
3. Demonstration/recitation essential
4. Teacher strong authority
5. Student receiver of knowledge
6. Need highly structured environment
7. Subjects should represent heritage
8. Curriculum focus on social problems
9. Schools should promote self-awareness
10. Students should have more freedom
11. Students should design program
12. Students should learn from peers
13. Schools sources of new ideas
14. Personality of students important
15. Learning should be experimental
16. Schools should preserve values
17. Students should learn essential skills
18. Students should learn essential knowledge
19. Teachers should be facilitators
20. Schools should foster intellectual


A six-point Likert scale is used.