The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assesses the competencies of 15-year-old students around the world. In 2006, the PISA report focused on the science competencies 15-year-old students developed. The report does not reflect a systematic consideration of science learning environments in schools and their relationship to cognitive and motivational outcomes in terms of scientific literacy. However, in all investigated countries, schools are where young people become familiar with science over an extended period of time.
Hence, this book aims to provide detailed information on science teaching and learning in schools in the OECD countries. Data from the PISA 2006 school principals' and students' questionnaires is used for the description of science teaching and learning. First, the context of science teaching in schools is described to provide a background for the analyses that follow. Then, the book draws a detailed picture of different components of science teaching relevant for student learning. In addition, international patterns of science teaching and learning are investigated. The investigation focuses on the teaching of scientific enquiry. This focus is chosen because the process of scientific enquiry models the way in which researchers think, and it provides students with ample opportunities to develop science literacy. Further investigations include the effects of different patterns of science teaching on student literacy. The book concludes with implications for policy and practice.