This study used the two variables at the individual level of students (i.e., engagement and curiosity) and five teacher group variables at the school level (i.e., inquiry belief, non-inquiry belief, school support for the teacher community, school support for innovative teaching, and teaching experience) as independent variables to discuss how these factors influence the students’ scientific inquiry abilities. This study also examined whether school level variables affect the cross-level moderated mediation on the scientific inquiry abilities of students by mediating the student level variables and explored for the cross-level moderation in the school level variables that may occur. In this investigation, spanning 32 junior and senior high schools including 494 teachers and 1,926 students, hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the relationship among the variables at different levels. The findings of this study are as follows: (1) The two variables, engagement and curiosity, at the individual level of students have a direct and positive effect on scientific inquiry abilities. (2) Inquiry belief, school support for the teacher community, and school support for innovative teaching have a cross-level direct effect on the scientific inquiry abilities of students. Here, the effect of school support for innovative teaching is positive and direct, whereas the effects of inquiry belief and school support for the teacher community are negative and direct. (3) Teaching experience can influence students’ performance of scientific inquiry abilities through engagement, which demonstrates a cross-level moderated mediation. That is, teaching experience not only has an obvious and indirect effect on scientific inquiry abilities but also provides positive moderation. (4) Inquiry belief provides positive moderation on the relationship between curiosity and the performance of scientific inquiry abilities. Similarly, curiosity demonstrates positive moderation on the relationship between inquiry belief and scientific inquiry abilities. In other words, when curiosity gradually increases, inquiry belief gradually decrease a negative effect on scientific inquiry abilities. Finally, curiosity, increasing to a certain extent, moderates inquiry belief, thus having a positive effect on scientific inquiry abilities that are gradually strengthening.
- Cross-level moderated mediation
- Scientific inquiry abilities
- Scientific inquiry belief
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