Children’s scientific question asking – an initial scoping of academic literature

Amy Bonsall, Lynne Bianchi (Corresponding)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Primary Science National Curriculum for
England requires children to be able to ask and
investigate scientific questions. As questioning is
a foundational habit of mind of scientists, we set
out to scope the academic literature that
addresses the nature of children’s scientific
question-asking and to identify routines for
teaching and learning exemplified within them,
as the basis for a 2-year research and
development project (QuSmart). A six-stage
method was developed to involve researchers,
professional development leaders and teachers in
order to select four principle papers for the
project. This paper describes this method and
presents a review of these principle papers,
drawing out key points that relate to the study
aims. This initial scoping of academic literature
illustrates that there is a lack of contemporary
academic research published in this field and that
few routines for children to learn how to ask and
build scientific questions are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)29
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Emergent Science
Issue numberWinter 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


  • Children's Questions
  • primary science teaching


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