chapter  3
16 Pages

Primary school students’ use of the concepts of evidence in science inquiries

WithWinnie Wing Mui So, Yu Liang, Yu Chen

This study investigated Hong Kong primary school students’ use of scientific evidence in the science inquiry process to identify their strengths and weaknesses in applying seven concepts of evidence. Thirty well-structured reports (appropriately 26% of the 115 reports) from the fourteenth Primary Science Inquiries event were randomly selected and analysed according to an analytical framework showing the relationship between the seven concepts of evidence and the quality of the science inquiry. The results indicated that students were generally able to apply the concepts of variable identification and variable types, fair tests, choosing instruments, and using graphical representations in science inquiries. However, the results also demonstrated that the application of the concepts including ‘choosing values’ in measurement and ‘interpreting results’ in data handling was more challenging for the students since these two concepts were least embedded in their reports. The chapter concludes with some suggestions for science teachers regarding the development of primary students’ understanding of and ability to collect, analyze, and interpret scientific evidence during science inquiry practices.