Becoming Proficient through Profile Classes

A Longitudinal Study on the Development of Scientific Competencies


  • Alena Schulte Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Claas Wegner Bielefeld University, Germany


The first educational goal within scientific subjects is to acquire a senseĀ of scientific literacy. In science lessons, methods of scientific inquiry provide the tools to achieve this. In this study, we based scientific inquiry on the SDDS-Model according to Klahr (2002). It is divided into three subareas: Search Hypothesis Space, Test Hypothesis, and Evaluate Hypothesis. A multiple-choice test, the NAW-test, was used to examine the extent to which the acquisition of competencies is promoted by attending Profile Classes. In contrast to common practice in Germany, scientific Profile Classes take an interdisciplinary approach to scientific subjects, with the aim to promote the acquisition of scientific competencies. For this purpose, Profile Class students (N=84) at two schools were questioned over the course of a school year at three different test times. Results show that competencies increase over time. A gender difference was not observed