Views of Scientific Inquiry, Primary School Version (VOSI-P)

The VOSI questionnaire elicits details of learners ideas of what scientists do in the production of valid scientific knowledge. Understanding about scientific inquiry is an integral component of scientific literacy, along with Nature of Science (NOS). The VOSI is useful alone, or in combination with the VNOS to gain in-depth insights into respondents epistemological views of science. The VOSI targets aspects unique from, but complementary to, the VNOS instrument.

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Supplemental Information:

  • VOSI-P_questionnaire.pdf (49.2 KB) Download

Assessment Type:

5 opened-ended questions. The questionnaire is administered and the answers are recorded by the researcher.



Publication Date:

Aug 10, 2005


Domain(s) Evaluated:

Attitude / Behavior

Sample items:

There was a woman who loved birds. She traveled around the world to study them.

One day, she noticed a group of birds with a very strangely shaped beak. She also noticed that all the birds with this shaped beak ate the same type of foods.

When she traveled to another country, she discovered a very different type of bird that had this same shaped beak. And they ate the same type of foods as the other birds with this same beak.

She decided that there is a connection between birds beak shapes and the type of food they ate.

(a) What should she do next to see if her idea is correct?
(b) Do you think she was working like a scientist? Why or why not?
(c) Do you think her work was an experiment? Why or why not?




Content/Face validity: Questions based on general aspects of the nature of scientific inquiry identified by Schwab (1962).



Administration time:

30 minutes

Requires a Computer:


Requires Internet Access:


Primary reference:

Schwartz, R. S., Lederman, N. G., & Lederman, J. S. An instrument to assess views of scientific inquiry: The VOSI questionnaire. Paper presented at the International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Baltimore, MD. March 30-April 2, 2008.


This questionnaire is designed for students who have limited reading and writing abilities.

A study that uses the VOSI-P:
Senler, B. (2015). Middle school students’ views of scientific inquiry: An international comparative study. Science Education International, 6(2), 166-179. doi:

Lederman, J. S., & Lederman, N. G. (2005, April). Developing and assessing elementary teachers’ and students’ understandings of nature of science and scientific inquiry.Lecture presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Dallas, Texas.

A dissertation that uses VOSI-P:
Parrish, J. C. (2017). K-12 teacher professional growth for nature of science and scientific inquiry: Promoting reflection through exemplars. (Doctoral dissertation, Middle Tennessee State University) [Abstract].

Other References:
Yang, I., Park, S., Shin, J., & Lim, S. (2016). Exploring Korean middle school students’ view about scientific inquiry. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, 13(7), 3935-3958.

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Renee' Schwartz, PhD Phone: (269) 387-5660
Norman G. Lederman, PhD Phone (312) 567-3658
Judith S. Lederman Phone (312) 567-3662