Key findings

Primary science

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The results show that among studies evaluating inquiry-based teaching approaches, programmes that used science kits did not show positive outcomes on science achievement (ES=+0.02 in 4 studies), but inquiry-based programmes that emphasised professional development but not kits did show positive outcomes (ES=+0.30 in 8 studies).

This supports a view that improving outcomes in primary science depends on improving teachers’ skills in presenting lessons, engaging and motivating pupils, and integrating science and reading.

Technology applications that help teachers teach more compelling lessons and that use video to reinforce lessons also have promise (ES=+0.37 in 5 studies).