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Learning Primary Levels Science Through The Inquiry Process


Gathering knowledge of the world around us and understanding it through Science allow us to derive solutions to a myriad of today’s environmental, social and economic issues. As we look to the future, we may wonder about the types of scientific discoveries that might be made in the next century. Some may hope for the development of vaccines to prevent diseases, thereby prolonging the average human lifespan. Environmental activists may yearn to witness the development of a technology that can reverse global warming. Avid travellers may dream of the day on which space travel is affordable and safe, allowing them to visit the moon and other planets.


We can all agree that Science education for the future requires imparting more than just the basic concepts of Science to students. To make decisions that can impact the environment and the world, people need to be equipped with the skills to use scientific knowledge to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions. However, the most important aim of Science education is to equip one with the correct ethics and attitudes to engage in pertinent issues as a reflective citizen.


In primary schools, students are given opportunities to learn through inquiry. Scientific inquiry at the school level can be defined as the activities and processes which students engage in to learn about the natural and physical world. It can be seen as consisting of two fundamental aspects: the “what” and the “how”. Therefore, the whole concept of inquiry goes beyond merely presenting the facts and outcomes of science experiments. It is necessary to show students how conclusions of scientific investigations are derived, and encourage them to ask questions about issues that relate to their daily lives. Last but not least, they have to be taught how to formulate and communicate explanations based on scientific knowledge – a skill which is tested in PSLE questions Singapore. Other than acquiring the knowledge from PSLE Science notes Singapore, students can gain an appreciation of Science through the activities designed for them in the classroom.


A variety of strategies is used in the classroom to facilitate the inquiry process. Through the use of these strategies, students can engage in meaningful learning experiences which will help cultivate their curiosity and passion in Science. We share a few of the strategies below:


Concept Mapping

This strategy is useful for presenting meaningful relationships among concepts and ideas.


Cooperative Learning

Group activities are designed such that each student takes on certain responsibilities and contributes to the completion of tasks. In working with others, students can gain an understanding of different viewpoints and solutions in achieving a common goal.


Demonstration

To support the learning process, demonstrations are frequently used, especially when the learning activities are not suitable to be conducted by students due to safety reasons and complexity.


Investigation

To mirror how scientific investigators think and what they do in a decision-making process, students engage in activities that require them to ask questions and plan for experiments.


Problem-Solving

Problem-solving skills are essential in the subjects of Mathematics and Science. For example, math heuristics are frequently employed to solve hard PSLE Math questions. Similarly, there are certain scientific techniques that can be used to find solutions to scientific problems.


Questioning

Questions are valuable tools in the scientific inquiry process. Throughout the learning process, both teachers and students should engage in cycles of questions-answers-questions.


Stories

To capture the interest of students and engage them in discussing about Science, stories of Science in everyday life can be shared.


Assessment

It can take many forms, from written tests to performance-based assessments. Students taking PSLE should revise upper primary topics by practising the questions available in free test papers for Primary 5.

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