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ERIC Number: EJ1262367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Finding the Place of Argumentation in Science Education: Epistemics and Whole Science
Allchin, Douglas; Zemplén, Gábor Á.
Science Education, v104 n5 p907-933 Aug 2020
Argumentation constitutes an important element in nature of science education. However, its virtues and scope can be overstated. Here, we survey in detail the place of argumentation in science education. Our benchmark is the range of epistemic processes relevant to citizens and consumers as they assess the reliability of scientific claims in personal and public decision making. We consider multiple epistemic stages in the development (or ontogeny) of such claims: (a) observation and material investigation; (b) the crafting of concepts through individual cognition; (c) the checks and balances of the scientific community; (d) the challenges of credibility and expertise in a cultural context; and (e) the interpretation of "science in the wild," where authentic scientific claims mingle with imitators and misinformation on the Internet and social media and in public discourse. We conclude that many conventional rationalist assumptions haunt current approaches to argumentation and limit its effectiveness, especially in the implicit goal of achieving intellectual independence for students as autonomous scientific agents. A more fruitful approach, from the perspective of functional scientific literacy, is a Whole Science perspective, which gives full expression to the spectrum of epistemic processes in science and science communication.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A