Inquiry Skills of Primary School Pupils in Slovakia

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2021


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Inquiry Skills of Primary School Pupils in Slovakia

Dominik Šmida, Elena Čipková



One of the long-term problems in education in Slovakia is the low level of scientific literacy of pupils, which is below the average of OECD countries participating in the international PISA measurement. Pupils achieve worse results, especially in the tasks that require procedural and epistemic knowledge, as well as the skills associated with the design and evaluation of scientific research and the interpretation of the evidence and data obtained in a scientific way. In recent years, therefore, there has been an effort to apply Inquiry-Based Science Education to develop science ideas and inquiry skills of primary school pupils. For this reason, we focused our research on identifying problematic aspects of selected inquiry skills of 13-15 years old primary school pupils, such as: formulating research questions, identifying a dependent and independent variable, designing an experiment, and predicting the results, observing, recording, and collecting data, processing, analysing and interpreting data, describing relationships between variables, formulating generalizations, and drawing conclusions. The open item test was administered to the sample of 13-15 years old pupils. The results indicate a relatively low level of inquiry skills among pupils. In addition, through open items, we were able to identify original and unexpected alternative solutions and pupils’ responses that provide feedback on pupils’ thinking in solving tasks based on the implementation of scientific inquiry in biology.

Keywords: biology education; Inquiry-Based Science Education; open items; scientific literacy; test.