Associate Professor Coral Campbell, Dr. Gail Chittleborough, Dr. Wendy Jobling, Professor Russell Tytler & Dr. Brian Doig—School of Education, Deakin University
This research project, by Deakin University, evaluated the science literacy of a sample of students undertaking the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in schools across Australia. This was accomplished by administering the 2012 National Sample Assessment in Science Literacy (NAP-SL) to Year 6 children in 10 schools, representing a mix of: state, urban, regional, government, and non-government schools. IB student tests were analyzed and compared with the NAP-SL 2012 results and Australian Proficiency Standards. The proficiency level of students in the PYP was generally higher than the national levels; 83.3% of IB students tested at or above the suggested Year 6 proficiency level, compared with 51.4% of national students who took the test in 2012. Gender results for PYP students were higher than both male and female national scientific proficiency levels and NAP-SL scores. The study also found that government PYP schools outperformed non-government PYP schools and that urban schools performed better than rural/regional schools. Lastly, PYP schools in all states had higher overall scores than state NAP-SL results.