Confidence in tackling aspects of science accorded with the extent of their knowledge and they were more at home with "Living things" than with "Earth and space" or "Energy and forces".
Professor Bryce said that further work had to be done to determine how much science was needed to teach the subject. Teachers also had to learn that work in science demanded a different approach to that for, say, mathematics or art.
"Our position is that a primary teacher's grasp of scientific concepts should be at least up to that expected of pupils. Teachers should at the very least meet 5-14 targets," Professor Bryce said.