With inquiry-based learning, the teacher guides students to research certain problems in groups or on their own, exchange opinion and look for one or more solutions. Learning by inquiry is more interesting for students than traditional frontal learning because it is easily transferable to real-life situations.
The master thesis focuses on i) how and to what extent does the inquiry-based learning in the subject Science and Technology in the 4th grade bring students to gain knowledge about the properties of substances, ii) in what extent students’ progress in experimental planning is evident and iii) how students change their situational interest towards inquiry-based learning and the subject of Science and Technology. We conducted a qualitative research. We prepared 10 school lessons in which the students learned about the properties of substances through inquiry-based learning. The sample was composed of 13 students from the 4thgrade in the selected non-rural school. The data was selected using five instruments: a test about properties of substances, a test about conducting an experiment, a worksheet, a questionnaire about situational interest and a lesson evaluation questionnaire. During the classes the students filled out the instruments, and the data analysis enabled the formation of answers to the research questions.
We concluded that the students expanded their knowledge of substances and their properties. They also improved in experimental planning, because their planning was getting more precise, accurate and independent. It is evident that the students changed their situational interest in the subject of Science and Technology and inquiry-based learning.
The limitations of the research are: lack of lessons that were given away by the class teacher of the group of students, changes of the students’ readiness to participate in class according to the schedule of the lesson, adaptation of the class schedule according to the regular activities in order to carry out our lessons. The master thesis suggests ideas on how to teach the topic of Substances using the method of inquiry-based learning, and it indirectly encourages carrying it out in the subject Science and Technology. At the same time, it provides guidelines for further action research.