ERIC Number: EJ1211645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Scientific Reasoning in Elementary School Children: Assessment of the "Inquiry Cycle"
Schiefer, Julia; Golle, Jessika; Tibus, Maike; Oschatz, Kerstin
Journal of Advanced Academics, v30 n2 p144-177 May 2019
Scientific reasoning abilities are already developing in elementary-school-aged children and enable them to understand the world around them. The goal of the current study was to develop a new instrument for 8- to 10-year-old children in Grades 3 and 4 to measure their understanding of the steps of the "scientific inquiry cycle" (SIC). Such an understanding is essential for scientific reasoning as well as for inquiry-based learning approaches and, above all, for scientific practice. We developed and applied 15 items in a sample of 878 third- and fourth-grade students (n = 434, Grade 3; n = 435, Grade 4). As confirmed by item response theory (IRT) modeling, the items produced reliable scale scores. Furthermore, we explored the relations between children's SIC performances, cognitive abilities, and epistemic beliefs. As expected, intelligence, text comprehension, experimentation strategies, and sophisticated epistemic beliefs were positively associated with children's SIC performance, a finding that helps to establish initial evidence for the construct validity of the SIC test scores.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Elementary School Science, Science Process Skills, Inquiry, Cognitive Processes, Abstract Reasoning, Grade 3, Grade 4, Measures (Individuals), Item Response Theory, Test Reliability, Cognitive Ability, Epistemology, Beliefs, Scientific Attitudes, Intelligence, Reading Comprehension, Construct Validity, Science Tests, Scores, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany