Science inquiry

IISME is steering an initiative to improve our understanding of teacher experiences and beliefs of science inquiry in the classroom. This work is a critical contribution to teacher professional development initiatives and to implementation of the Australian curriculum in the area of science learning.

Participate in the survey

If you are a primary school teacher, we invite you to fill out the
science inquiry survey for primary teachers.

If you are a secondary school teacher, we invite you to fill out the
science inquiry survey for secondary teachers.

What is science inquiry?

While student interest and engagement with science in schools is decreasing, it is recognized that there is greater need for science literacy amongst students and citizens (Hemmo, 2008). A range of programs is being developed to engage students with leaning science and there is urgency in investigations probing appropriate pedagogies (Ching and Kafai, 2008). One pedagogical approach gaining momentum is inquiry based science (Minner, Levy & Century, 2010). The prime challenge to implementing this pedagogical approach is teachers’ perceptions, understandings and implementations of science inquiry (Keys & Bryan, 2001). These are diverse and unless the diversity is examined, appropriate professional development programs cannot be designed. This is particularly important given that the new Australian Curriculum: Science gravitates around science inquiry.


The aim of this study is to investigate the experiences and perceptions of science inquiry amongst classroom teachers and pre-service teachers.

Potential significance

As we better understand teacher and pre-service education student experiences we will be able to understand how inquiry in science is understood and implemented. As the Australian Curriculum: Science pivots around inquiry-based learning, it is vital to obtain a snapshot of the local context. This will then feed into development of the teacher education programs and professional development for teachers, providing evidence based practice. Furthermore, as we disseminate research findings we can inform other programs and initiatives.


  • Ching, C. C, & Kafai, Y. B. (2008) Peer pedagogy: Student collaboration and reflection in a learning through design-based project, Teachers College Record, retrieved from on 9 Sept 2010.
  • Hemmo, V. (2008) Encouraging student interest in science and technology studies, OECD Global Science Forum Publication, ISBN 978-92-64-04069-4
  • Keys, C. W. & Bryan, L. A. (2001) Co-constructing inquiry-based science with teachers: Essential research for lasting reform, Journal of Researh in Science Teaching, 38 (6) 631-645.
  • Minner, D. D., Levy, A, J., & Century, J. (2010) Inquiry-based science Instruction-What is it and does it matter? Results from a research synthesis Years 1984 to 2002, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47 (4) 474-496.