Science knowledge

In today's society there is a universal need for knowledge based scientific thinking and science literacy. These are essential not only in the understanding of natural phenomena, but in interpreting economic and social processes as well. The program approaches the quality of school based science knowledge from the perspectives of (1) conceptual development and (2) real life applicability. 


Foundation of science literacy – Basic science concepts
Erzsébet Korom and Lászlóné Nagy investigate the enrichment and structuration of basic science concepts from grade 4 to grade 12. They collect data at the end of each characteristic phase of science education, applying two complementary instruments. The one entitled „Foundations of science literacy”is a diagnostic knowledge test that aims at exploring the acquisition and level of differentiation of basic science concepts (e.g. matter, living being, symptoms of life, attributes and changes of materials).The other instrument, entitled „Development of science concepts”, provides an extended, more differentiated view of students' understanding of the concepts involved in the knowledge test. It mainly uses open question format to investigate the application of these concepts in the interpretation of everyday phenomena. 

Measurement points:
Spring, 2007: Sample 3 (grade 4)
Autumn, 2009: Sample 3 (grade 7)
Spring, 2011: Sample 3 (grade 8)
Spring, 2011: Sample 4 (grade 4)
Spring, 2013: Sample 4 (grade 6)
Spring, 2015: Sample 4 (grade 8)
Spring, 2015: Sample 5 (grade 4)
 
Application of science knowledge I, II
The test entitled „Science knowledge application” measures the application of school based science knowledge in realistic, everyday context. The research aims at investigating if students who are about to leave primary (grade 7) and secondary (grade 11) education are able to understand and interpret those phenomena they encounter day by day based on the knowledge they had acquired in school.
The first assessment was conducted in Szeged, in 1995, repeated two times, in 1999 and 2006, by the Research Group on the Development of Competencies on a national sample.
These tests measure science knowledge in realistic – scientific, but not classroom based – context, where the selected curricular contents are manifest. The style of the tasks is natural, avoiding rigid, school based terminology. The tests were developed by Mária B. Németh.

Measurement points:
Spring, 2006: Sample 1 (grade 11) and sample 2 (grade 7)
Spring, 2010: Sample 3 (grade 7)