Myths of Science: How Children know about Science in Inquiry Projects

By Winnie Wing-mui So and Mei Zhong.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study aims to examine how primary pupils know about science during their science inquiry project work. Pupils’ use of science in the enquiry projects was analyzed from their proposals and final reports to identify whether there are scientific or alternative understandings. It is found that though there are scientific understandings in pupils’ use of science, the types of alternative understanding commonly found in pupils’ reports included the followings: In the “planning and design” stage, the two main problems identified are lack of appropriate planning for the investigation; and extending too much to claim an all-round investigation. In the “carrying out the inquiry” stage, the problems exist including use of unsuitable methods and materials just for testing; inappropriate variable control for fair test; and random selection of range, interval and frequency for measurement. In the “interpretation of result” stage, the common problems occurred are ambiguous interpretation of anomalous data; and making conclusions beyond the data. The paper concludes with suggestions of how teachers provide scaffolding to help pupils construct scientific understanding during the science inquiry project work.

Keywords: Science Projects, Nature of Science, Science Inquiry

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.31-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.767MB).

Prof. Winnie Wing-mui So

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, Science, Social Science & Technology, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Dr. Mei Zhong

Senior Research Assistant, Department of Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences & Technology, Foshan University, Hong Kong, China