Measuring Science Inquiry Skills in Youth Development Programs: The Science Process Skills Inventory

Mary E. Arnold, Virginia D. Bourdeau, Brooke D. Nott

Abstract


In recent years there has been an increased emphasis on science learning in 4-H and other youth development programs. In an effort to increase science capacity in youth, it is easy to focus only on developing the concrete skills and knowledge that a trained scientist must possess. However, when science learning is presented in a youth-development setting, the context of the program also matters. This paper reports the development and testing of the Science Process Skills Inventory (SPSI) and its usefulness for measuring science inquiry skill development in youth development science programs. The results of the psychometric testing of the SPSI indicated the instrument is reliable and measures a cohesive construct called science process skills, as reflected in the 11 items that make up this group of skills. The 11 items themselves are based on the cycle of science inquiry, and represent the important steps of the complete inquiry process.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2013.103

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