ERIC Number: ED465520
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Learning Science through Argumentation: Prospective Teachers' Experiences in an Innovative Science Course.
Munford, Danusa; Zembal-Saul, Carla
An appropriate approach to the issue of argumentation for science learning would follow a socio-constructivist perspective that takes into account the role of language and social context in the process of learning. Moreover, although Toulmin's model offers interesting insights to the study of argumentation, particularly in identifying major components of an argument, it relies on assumptions that are limiting in the context of science learning. Within Toulmin's perspective, the individual who constructs the argument would not necessarily construct new understandings through that process, but rather would engage in argumentation to persuade others of soundness of her/his (already developed) ideas. In contrast, the approach of authors such as Dianne Kuhn considers argument as dialogic thinking, describing it as a much more dynamic process that underlies the way(s) people make sense of the natural world. In other words, when Kuhn talks about argument, she is referring to not only how one presents/communicates his knowledge about the world and responds to criticism, but to the way one thinks and constructs new understandings. This perspective has the potential to shift the focus from confrontational to collaborative argumentation and its processes, which is more coherent with socio-constructivist perspectives. (Contains 49 references.) (MVL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (New Orleans, LA, April 6-10, 2002).