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Journal: Problems of Education in the 21st Century (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 48-55

Keywords : primary science education; problem solving; scientific inquiry;

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The goal of this article is to discuss the actual relation between scientific inquiries used in science classrooms and problem solving processes. A model of problem solving ability levels is also introduced. The empirical aim of this study was to explore four fifth-graders' problem solving abilities in related to so called open-ended scientific inquiry tasks. The data was collected in the context of three weekly 60–70 minute sessions in a voluntary science club of 14 pupils. The goal of the sessions was to construct the concept of density with the aid of scientific experimentation. The informants were four pupils paired into two groups. The problem solving process was based on the open-ended inquiry that included five phases: orientation, planning, execution, evaluation, and communication. Both of the pairs were separately observed and video-taped during each of the sessions, and each of the pupils was individually interviewed after each session. All the interviews were based on video stimulation where the crucial parts of the problem solving sessions were reviewed step-by-step with the pupil. The analysis was based on the pupils' problem solving performance: orientation and motivation towards solving the task; aims and actions during the execution; the roles of the pair and the teacher. The problem solving abilities were quite modest, but the results give detailed information on the pupils' own descriptions and explanations related to the different phases of the problem solving process.

Last modified: 2017-08-18 16:44:59