Child-led enquiry in primary science

Lynda Dunlop, Kirstie Compton, Linda Clarke, Valerie McKelvey-Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This research describes and evaluates the application of a child-led approach to scientific enquiry (the Community of Scientific Enquiry, CoSE) to children aged 8–11 (Key Stage 2) in Northern Ireland. Primary teachers were introduced to CoSE at a workshop and asked to evaluate its implementation with their class. Results from children (n = 364) and teachers (n = 19) found that CoSE engaged children with their science learning, and also developed confidence and oracy. However, teachers require more experience developing facilitation skills and in fitting science into a thematic teaching unit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-481
JournalEducation 3–13
Issue number5
Early online date1 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Oct 2015


  • philosophy for children
  • science education
  • community of enquiry


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