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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

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. Copyright © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-713
JournalEarly Education and Development
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date28 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Lin, X., Yang, W., Wu, L., Zhu, L., Wu, D., & Li, H. (2021). Using an inquiry-based science and engineering program to promote science knowledge, problem-solving skills and approaches to learning in preschool children. Early Education and Development, 32(5), 695-713. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2020.1795333

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