Using an inquiry-based science and engineering program to promote science knowledge, problem-solving skills and approaches to learning in preschool children

Xunyi Lin*, Weipeng Yang*, Lizhen Wu, Lifen Zhu, Duanping Wu, Hui Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Research Findings: The present study investigated the effects of a 12-week inquiry-based science and engineering (IBSE) program on preschoolers’ science and engineering learning experiences. The treatment versus control condition was randomly assigned to four preschool classes, which included 122 preschoolers (M = 61.10 month, SD = 3.73). Statistical analysis revealed that the IBSE treatment group (N = 62) had experienced greater gains over time in physical science knowledge, problem-solving skills, and competence motivation as compared to those in the control group (N = 60), with the between-group effect sizes (Cohen’s d) ranging from 0.27 to 1.28. The baseline functioning was found to moderate the program effects. The IBSE group of children who scored higher in science-relevant problem-solving skills at baseline demonstrated more significant improvements in engineering problem-solving skills relative to the control group. Practice or Policy: This study demonstrates that teaching strategies of engineering design process (EDP) and the 5Es instructional model are supportive of young children’s learning with enhanced scientific understanding and skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-713
Number of pages19
JournalEarly Education and Development
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date28 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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