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ERIC Number: EJ1046070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Making and Defending Scientific Arguments
Llewellyn, Douglas
Science Teacher, v80 n5 p34-38 Jul 2013
Since 1996, science education has been guided by the National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996). But now there's a "new sheriff in town" as the "Common Core State Standards" and "A Framework for K-12 Science Education" together become the 21st century's torch bearer for curricula reform in science and other subject areas. A supposition runs through both documents: that for the United States to become scientifically literate, high school students must become proficient in: (a) investigating phenomena; (b) collecting and analyzing data; (c) making claims from the findings; and (d) supporting such claims and explanations with evidence to justify and defend their assertions. In light of this new direction in science teaching, this article will address three questions: (1) What is scientific argumentation?; (2) What do the "Common Core" and the "Framework" say about argumentation?; and (3) How can science teachers effectively scaffold and prepare students to make and defend arguments? Fostering scientific argumentation can be challenging. Nonetheless, by scaffolding activities from simple to complex, students can attain the communication skills embraced by the "Common Core," "Framework", and "Next Generation Science Standards." Adjusting to this reform requires science teachers to shed "old skins" and tweak the emphasis of their time-honored labs.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A