Improving pupils conceptual understanding by an in- and out-of-school science program

Henderien Steenbeek, Jeannette Doornenbal, Paul van Geert, Carla Geveke

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther research output


Research in the field of out-of-school science is gradually increasing. These programs
are considered to be important, yet more evidence about the learning effect is needed.
This study aims to contribute to that matter by means of microgenetic measurements.
We wanted to answer the question: How is the quality of a science program and its
implementation related to the pupils? performances? We used a multiple case study
design with two contrasting cases with either a qualitatively optimal or marginal
version of the program, and two similar cases of semi-optimal program quality. The
quality of the program was determined by two indicators: a preparation in the
classroom prior to the out-of-school visit, and the amount of lessons given by
teachers/educators who are preliminary trained in using an open teaching style
focused on eliciting conceptual understanding. The cases were upper grade
elementary school classes . The effect of the program was measured by coding pupils?
performance with a scale based on skill theory and the teacher?s support was
measured with the Openness Scale. We found the highest learning effect in the
optimal case, meaning it is favorable to use a science program of high quality,
including preparation and lessons given by qualified teachers implementing the
program according to its goals.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Event16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction 2015: “Towards a Reflective Society: Synergies between Learning, Teaching and Research” - Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 25 Aug 201529 Aug 2015
Conference number: 16th


Conference16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction 2015
Abbreviated titleEARLI 2015
Internet address


  • education
  • out-of-school science education

Cite this