Findings from the TIMSS 2019 Problem Solving and Inquiry Tasks

Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Bethany Fishbein, Pierre Foy, and Sebastian Moncaleano

Chapter 2: Science Grade 4

Farm Investigation

About the Task

The Farm Investigation Problem Solving and Inquiry (PSI) task, although situated in a life science content domain, was intended primarily to assess fourth grade students’ knowledge and competencies in the practices of scientific inquiry. As described in the TIMSS 2019 Science Assessment Framework, five practices fundamental to scientific inquiry are represented in TIMSS 2019: asking questions based on observations, generating evidence, working with data, answering the research question, and making an argument from evidence. As students work through the Farm Investigation task to help George discover which animals ate the plants in his garden, they engage with activities that involve these practices.

Screen 1 – Farm Investigation

This screen introduces George and his farm, and his hypothesis that it was a farm animal that ate his plants. Students were requested to answer the questions in order as they worked through the task, and not to look through the investigation before starting.