Developing Scientific Practices in Primary School: Benzene Ring Heuristic (BRH) Application

Yagmur Gokbulak, Burcu Senler


This study aims to develop primary-school students’ understanding of the scientific practices in the Benzene Ring Heuristic (BRH) and to determine how BRH applications would affect student perceptions about science, scientific knowledge, and scientists. An interpretative qualitative research design was used in the study. The study group consisted of 9 fourth-grade students (6 girls, 3 boys) in a public primary school. To identify the students’ thoughts and perceptions about science, scientific knowledge, and scientists, the study employed open-ended questions as well as the “Draw-a-Scientist Test”. In addition, a poster activity was used to determine how well students understood the scientific practices in the BRH. The drawing test results showed that students drew scientists in general as female, young, most often with a neat-looking physical appearance in enclosed areas mainly representing a laboratory environment, and who is experimenting. An analysis of the posters produced by the students as part of the BRH suggested a certain amount of improvement. These results have educational implications and should be helpful for teachers and teacher educators to better understand the effects of using BRH in science education.


scientific practices; Benzene Ring Heuristic; primary school; fourth-grade students; interpretative qualitative research

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