Research in Science Education

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

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

  • Dean CairnsEmail author
  • Shaljan Areepattamannil


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 170,474 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.


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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emirates College for Advanced EducationAbu DhabiUAE

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