1st Edition

Inquiry-Based Science in the Primary Classroom

Edited By Garima Bansal, Umesh Ramnarain Copyright 2023

    The chapters in this book represent a cross-section of research conducted in inquiry-based science education at primary levels of schooling in international contexts that include school settings in Australia, India, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Northern Ireland, and the United States. The book includes empirical studies on the role of inquiry-based learning in advancing students’ conceptual understanding and modelling proficiency, students’ understandings about the nature of scientific inquiry, classroom studies on teachers’ enactment of inquiry-based learning, teachers’ facilitation of classroom discourse for inquiry-based learning, and co-teaching in developing teachers in adopting an inquiry-based pedagogy. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Education 3–13.

    Introduction: Inquiry-Based Science Education in Primary Schools

    G. Bansal and U. Ramnarain

    1. South African primary school learners’ understandings about the nature of scientific inquiry

    M. Penn, U. Ramnarain, M. Kazeni, T. Dhurumraj, L. Mavuru and S. Ramaila

    2. Indian pre-service teachers’ conceptualisations and enactment of inquiry-based science education

    Garima Bansal

    3. Primary school pre-service teachers’ enactment of inquiry-based-science teaching

    Khanysile Brenda Nhlengethwa, Nadaraj Govender and Doras Sibanda

    4. The relationship between teacher’s support of literacy development and elementary students’ modelling proficiency in project-based learning science classrooms

    Tingting Li, Emily Miller, I.-Chien Chen, Kayla Bartz, Susan Codere and Joseph Krajcik

    5. Promoting senior primary school students’ understanding of particulate nature of matter through inquiry instruction with multiple representations

    Emine Adadan and Müjde Müge Ataman

    6. Fostering senior primary school students’ understanding of climate change in an inquiry-based learning environment

    Sevil Akaygun and Emine Adadan

    7. Primary teacher educators’ practices in and perspectives on inquiry-based science education: insights into the Australian landscape

    Angela Fitzgerald, Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn and Reece Mills

    8. A coteaching model for developing pre-service teachers’ practice and confidence in teaching primary science through inquiry

    John McCullagh and Andrea Doherty

    9. A knowledge building approach to primary science collaborative inquiry supported by learning analytics

    Aloysius Ong, Chew Lee Teo, Samuel Tan and Mi Song Kim


    Garima Bansal is Research fellow at Australian Council for Educational Research. Her research interests include education assessment, science and mathematics education, and teacher education. She has received several international awards from renowned academic bodies such as the International Association of Education Assessment, American Evaluation Association, and British Educational Research Association.

    Umesh Ramnarain is Professor in Science Education, and Head of Department in Science and Technology Education at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His main research interest is on inquiry-based science education, with a particular focus on its uptake in South African classrooms, where the unequal funding policies of the previous Apartheid education system have resulted in learning contexts that are complex and diverse.