Do Not Just Do Science Inquiry, Understand It! The Views of Scientific Inquiry of Israeli Middle School Students Enrolled in a Scientific Reserve Course

Einat Ben Eliyahu, Orit Ben Zvi Assaraf, Judith S. Lederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the nature of science and scientific inquiry constitute foundation stones in scientific education in general and in scientific literacy in particular. Therefore, students must develop informed perceptions regarding science inquiry in order to be scientifically literate. The current study’s purpose was to examine students’ perceptions regarding science inquiry (SI). This would provide deep description of students’ naïve and informed perceptions of SI, and also locate flawed thinking patterns regarding SI. The unique contribution of the research is expressed in both mapping the concepts about knowledge of scientific research in Israel and extracting and naming the concepts that the students have. The research population included 446 students in grades 7–8. This research chose a quantitative research approach. The study used a questionnaire called VASI (Views About Science Inquiry). This is a research questionnaire intended to diagnose students’ perceptions regarding science inquiry. The study’s findings indicate that most of the students do not develop informed understanding regarding the aspects of science inquiry. The aspects about which the students’ have the most informed responses among the students are that the question motivates the inquiry and that the study’s conclusions should match the data collected. The conclusion arising from the findings is that the students lack scientific perceptions regarding a significant proportion of the aspects of science inquiry, which raises the great importance of focused instruction of the aspects of science inquiry in class. Therefore, perhaps training teachers professionally to teach science inquiry directly in the classroom may develop the student’s’ scientific perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1091
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in Science Education
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Nature of science
  • Scientific inquiry
  • Scientific literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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