Exploring the Relations of Inquiry-Based Teaching to Science Achievement and Dispositions in 54 Countries

Dean Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study, drawing on data from the third cycle of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and employing three-level hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) as an analytic strategy, examined the relations of inquiry-based science teaching to science achievement and dispositions toward science among 170474 15-year-old students from 4780 schools in 54 countries across the globe. The results of the HLM analyses, after accounting for student-, school-, and country-level demographic characteristics and students’ dispositions toward science, revealed that inquiry-based science teaching was significantly negatively related to science achievement. In contrast, inquiry-based science teaching was significantly positively associated with dispositions toward science, such as interest in and enjoyment of science learning, instrumental and future-oriented science motivation, and science self-concept and self-efficacy. Implications of the findings for policy and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalResearch in Science Education
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019


  • Dispositions toward science
  • Hierarchical linear modeling
  • Inquiry-based science teaching
  • PISA
  • Science achievement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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