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ERIC Number: EJ1258385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Jun
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Using Historical Scientific Controversies to Promote Undergraduates' Argumentation
Archila, Pablo Antonio; Molina, Jorge; Truscott de Mejía, Anne-Marie
Science & Education, v29 n3 p647-671 Jun 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic is the reason why humanity is paying more attention to the importance of regular and rigorous handwashing. Interestingly, in the nineteenth century, regular and rigorous handwashing was a key (and controversial) solution proposed by the Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis to cut drastically cases of puerperal fever. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence that the case of Semmelweis and puerperal fever--a crucial historical scientific controversy--can be used as a springboard to promote university student argumentation. Our study was inspired by the fact that the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) stressed that more efforts and resources should be invested in promoting argumentation as an essential component for scientifically literate citizens in twenty-first century societies. However, nowadays, argument and debate are virtually absent from university science education. The data was derived from 124 undergraduates' (64 females and 60 males, 15-30 years old) written responses and audio and video recordings in a university biology course in Colombia. The findings show that the articulation of this historical controversy with decision-making, small-group debate, and whole-class debate activities can be useful for promoting undergraduates' argumentation. This study contributes to the development of a research-based university science education that can inform the design of an argumentation curriculum for higher education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A