Primary school students' use of the concepts of evidence in science inquiries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study investigated Hong Kong primary school students' use of scientific evidence in the science inquiry process to identify their strengths and weaknesses in applying seven concepts of evidence. Thirty well-structured reports (appropriately 26% of the 115 reports) from the fourteenth Primary Science Inquiries event were randomly selected and analysed according to an analytical framework showing the relationship between the seven concepts of evidence and the quality of the science inquiry. The results indicated that students were generally able to apply the concepts of variable identification and variable types, fair tests, choosing instruments, and using graphical representations in science inquiries. However, the results also demonstrated that the application of the concepts including 'choosing values' in measurement and 'interpreting results' in data handling was more challenging for the students since these two concepts were least embedded in their reports. The chapter concludes with some suggestions for science teachers regarding the development of primary students' understanding of and ability to collect, analyze, and interpret scientific evidence during science inquiry practices. Copyright © 2018 selection and editorial matter, May May Hung Cheng, Alister Jones and Cathy Buntting; individual chapters, the contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in science education in the Asia-Pacific region
EditorsMay Hung May CHENG, Alister JONES, Cathy BUNTTING
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315717678
ISBN (Print)9781138858848
Publication statusPublished - 2018



So, W. W. M., Liang, Y., & Chen, Y. (2018). Primary school students' use of the concepts of evidence in science inquiries. In M. M. H. Cheng, A. Jones, & C. Buntting (Eds.), Studies in science education in the Asia-Pacific region (pp. 27-41). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.