Development of preservice elementary teachers scientific reasoning skills through scientific inquiry


Research in Science and Technological Education, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02635143.2024.2332720
  • Journal Name: Research in Science and Technological Education
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo
  • Keywords: mixed-methods design, preservice elementary teachers, scientific inquiry, Scientific reasoning skills
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Scientific reasoning is one of the higher-order thinking skills and has a very important place in science education. However, the research shows that the scientific reasoning levels of students and preservice teachers are low. Purpose: This research aimed to examine the development of the scientific reasoning skills of preservice teachers through scientific inquiries conducted in a science laboratory course. Sample: Thirty-nine preservice teachers studying in the elementary teaching program of a university participated in the research. Design and methods: The research was conducted with a mixed design as qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques were used together. The data were obtained using the Lawson Test for Scientific Reasoning, which was administered in pre and post-tests, and from scientific inquiry reports prepared by the preservice teachers. Participants were categorized within three levels according to the pre-test results of Lawson Test for Scientific Reasoning (Level 0, Low Level I, and High Level). Quantitative data were analyzed with the Wilcoxon signed rank test, and qualitative data were analyzed with content analysis. Results: The results revealed significant differences between the pre- and post LTSR scores of the preservice teachers whom are at scientific reasoning Level 0, Low Level I, High Level, and all preservice teachers. According to the findings obtained from the scientific inquiry reports, preservice teachers with different levels of scientific reasoning skills improved their skills in a short period of three weeks. Conclusion: In conclusion scientific inquiries had a significant effect in improving the preservice teachers’ scientific reasoning skills.