Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Elahe Hejazi, Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, University of Tehran,

3 Department of psychology, University of Shahid Ashrafi Esfahani, Esfahan, Iran

4 Department of psychology, University of Shahid Chamran, Ahvaz, Iran


Scientific thinking is a type of knowledge seeking involving intentional information seeking, including asking questions, testing hypotheses, making observations, recognizing patterns, and making inferences. The purpose of this research was designing a package of scientific thinking training and its ‘effect on problem-solving skill in preschool children. For this purpose, a study was designed in two steps. At first time, based on Kuhn theory and by reviewing and analysing available resources, the scientific thinking training package was designed. This teaching package includes discussions between the researchers and the child about stories with topics related to children's environment that they may not have encountered in everyday situations in the form of questions. At second step, in order to determine the effect of scientific thinking training on problem-solving, 30 children aged 5 to 6 (15 girls-15 boys) with a moderate score in Raven intelligence test was chosen from three primary schools. Subjects were trained individually in scientific thinking for 8 sessions. Data were analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Findings showed that teaching scientific thinking significantly improves problem solving skills (p <005) and this effect is stable over time. The results of this study show that preschool education and interaction with teacher is an opportunity to provide stimulus situations appropriate to children's abilities, and provide conditions for improving problem-solving.


Main Subjects

Abdullah, M., & Osman, K. (2010). Scientific inventive thinking skills among primary students in Brunei. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences7, 294-301.
Amin, T. G., Smith, C., &Wiser, M. (2014). Student conceptions and conceptual change: Three overlapping phases of research. Taylor & Francis.
Bell, P., Tzou, C., Bricker, L., & Baines, A. D. (2012). Learning in diversities of structures of social practice: Accounting for how, why, and where people learn science. Human Development, 55, 269–284.
Blondiaul, L., Vitry, S., & Vercouter, M. (2014). Mathématiques La résolution de problem. Enseignement  fondamental federation wllonie bruwelles.
Chen, Z., & Siegler, R. S. (2013). Young children’s analogical problem solving: Gaining insights from video displays. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 116, 904–913.
Dejonckheere, P. J., De Wit, N., Van de Keere, K., & Vervaet, S. (2016). Exploring the classroom: Teaching science in early childhood. European Journal of Educational Research, 5(3), 149-164.
Donaldson, J. P., & Hammrich, P. L. (2016). Sports as a creative way to teach science. International Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 8(2), 64-72.
Dostal, J. (2015). Theory of problem solving. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 174(1), 2798-2805.
Duckworth, E. (1987). The having of wonderful ideas’ and other essays on Teaching and Learning. Faculty of Education. Khon Kaen University.
Erturk, E. (2015). Role play as a teaching strategy presented. National Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference.
Fusaro, M., & Smith, M. (2018). Pre-schoolers’ inquisitiveness and science-relevant problem solving. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 119-127.
Gopnik, A. (2012). Scientific thinking in young children: Theoretical advances, empirical research, and policy implications. Science337(6102), 1623-1627.
Hmlin, M., &Wisneski, D. (2012). Supporting the scientific thinking and inquiry of toddlers and pre-schoolers through play. Journal of Young Children, 82-88.
Hong, S. Y., & Diamond, K. E. (2012). Two approaches to teaching young children science concepts, vocabulary, and scientific problem-solving skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(2), 295-305.
Inhelder, B., & Piaget, J. (1958). The growth of logical thinking from childhood to adolescence. Basic Books.
Jamhari, M., & Sipahutar, H. (2018). The effects of visual mapping and science-related attitudes on students’ problem-solving skills. In 3rd Annual International Seminar on Transformative Education and Educational Leadership. Atlantis Press.
Kuhn, D. (2002). What is scientific thinking, and how does it develop? In U. Goswami, Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development (371–393). Blackwell Publishing.
Kuhn, D. (2010). What is scientific thinking and how does it develop? In U. Goswami. (Ed.), Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development. Blackwell Publishing.
Kuhn, D. (2015). Thinking together and alone. Educational Researcher, 44(1), 46-53.
Ledrapier, C. (2007). Le rôle de l’action dans l’éducation scientifique à l’école maternelle – Cas de l’approche des phénomènes physiques. thèse de doctorat en sciences de l’Éducation, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan.
Ledrapier, C. (2010). Les enjeux d’une education scientifique des l’ecole maternelle. actes du congrès de l’Actualité de la recherche en éducation et en formation (AREF), Université de Genève.
Lerner, R., Liben, L. S., & Muller, U. (2015(. Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Lombardi, D., Janelle M. B., Elliot, S.B., & Shondricka, B. (2018). Scaffolding scientific thinking: Students’ evaluating and judgments during earth science knowledge construction. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 184-198.
 Lugmayr, A., Sutinen, E., Suhonen, J., Sedano, C. I., Hlavacs, H., & Montero, C. S. (2017). Serious storytelling–a first definition and review. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 76(14), 15707-15733.
Maker, C. J., Bahar, K., Alfaiz, F. S., & Pease, R. (2022). Developing and assessing creative scientific talent that is transformational through Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS). Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 31(1), 5–21.
Maker, C. J., Bahar, A. K., Pease, R., & Alfaiz, F. S. (2023). Discovering and nurturing creative problem solving in young children: An exploratory study. Journal of Creativity, 33(2), 100053.
Morris, B. J., Croker, S., Masnick, A., & Zimmerman, C. (2012). The emergence of scientific reasoning, in H. Kloos, B. J. Morris, and J. L. Amaral (eds.), Current Topics in Children’s Learning and Cognition. IntechOpen.
Olcer, S. (2017). Science content knowledge of 5-6 year old preschool children. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education12(2), 143-175.
Osterhaus, C., Koerber, S., & Sodian, B. (2015). Children’s understanding of experimental contrast and experimental control: an inventory for primary school. Frontline Learning Research, 3(4), 56–94.
Parlakyildiz, B. (2015).  In science and math education the portfolio Implementations of prospective preschool teachers. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(10), 1243-1252.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2019). The thinker's guide to scientific thinking: based on critical thinking concepts and principles. Rowman & Littlefield.
Ramani, G. B., & Brownell, C. A. (2014). Pre-schoolers’ cooperative problem solving: Integrating play and problem solving. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12(1), 92-108.
Robson, S. (2012). Developing thinking & understanding in young children. Taylor & Francis.
Rubenstein, L. D., Callan, G. L., Ridgley, L. M., & Henderson, A. (2019). Students’ strategic planning and strategy use during creative problem solving: The importance of perspective-taking. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 4(12), 45-55.
Vitti Rodrigues, M., & Emmeche, C. (2021). Abduction and styles of scientific thinking. Syntheses, 198(2), 1397-1425.
Saif, A. L. (2019). Modern educational psychology: psychology of learning. Doran Publishing.
Scherer, R., & Tiemann, R. (2014). Evaluating students’ progressions in scientific problem solving: A psychometric approach. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112, 87 – 96.
Talkhabi, M. (2019). Mind trips. Engare Institute.
Thitima, G., & Sumalee, C. (2012). Scientific thinking of the learners learning with the knowledge construction model enhancing scientific thinking. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 3771-3775.
Tosun, C. (2019). Scientific process skills test development within the topic matter and its nature and the predictive effect. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 20,1.
Van der Graaf, J., Segers, E., & Verhoeven, L. (2018). Individual differences in the development of scientific thinking in kindergarten. Learning and Instruction56, 1-9.
Vidergor, H. E. (2018). Effectiveness of the multidimensional curriculum model in developing higher-order thinking skills in elementary and secondary students. The Curriculum Journal, 29(1), 95-115.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). Thinking and speech. In R.W. Rieber & A.S. Carton (Eds.), the Collected Works of L.S. Vygotsky, (Vol. 1). Plenum Press.
‏Waltz, C. F., & Bausell, B. R. (1981). Nursing research: design statistics and computer analysis. Davis FA.
Weisberg, D. S., & Sobel, D. M. (2022). Constructing science: Connecting causal reasoning to scientific thinking in young children. MIT Press.
Yampinige, S., & Chaijaroen, S. (2010). The Development of knowledge construction model based on constructivist approach to support ill-structured problems solving process for industrial education and technology students. Doctor of Philosophy Thesis in Educational Technology, Graduate School, Khon Kaen University.