Andri Christodoulou, 11 Dec 2017, 16h30

December 11, 2017

ArgLab Research Colloquium

Av. de Berna 26, I&D Building, First floor, room 0.07


Using argumentation as a tool for learning in science education: Examples from classroom-based research and socio-scientific contexts

Andri Christodoulou, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, UK


In this talk I will focus on ways in which argumentation can be operationalised into classroom discourse at the secondary school level, in order to promote productive communication between students and teachers. I will discuss two examples from research projects I was involved in to exemplify the use of argument-based discourse within learning contexts: the first example is based on a teacher professional development project that aimed to promote and embed argumentation in the discourse practices of science teachers.

Within this project, I will discuss how a teacher was able to engage in progressiveadaptation of structural elements of argumentation embedding gradually such elements in her everyday practices and moving from an implicit demand for using evidence and providing reasons to an explicit demand for justifying claims and discussing the use and function of evidence, and to using critique and evaluation. The second example discussed is the use of a socio-scientific context as a way of promoting productive discourse and argumentation among students. Within this project, mapping controversies was used as a strategy with students in England as they learned about a localised controversial issue. Students’ exploration of the issue allowed them to elaborate on their views and thinking, to question each other, and to draw on a range of types of evidence in their attempt to decide what should be done about the controversy. Implications for research in the use of argumentation within science education will be discussed.

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