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ERIC Number: EJ849708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1090-185X
Argumentation: The Language of Science
Tippett, Christine
Journal of Elementary Science Education, v21 n1 p17-25 Win 2009
In the past two decades, the role of language in the science curriculum has become prominent in science education literature. From a constructivist perspective, language mediates social interaction and meaning is constructed as learners interpret and reinterpret events through the lens of prior knowledge. This perspective applied to the science classroom results in the view that scientific knowledge is socially constructed, negotiated, validated, and communicated in the context of the specific discourse practices of science. The rhetorical goal of scientific discourse is consensus based on evidence rather than compromise or conciliation achieved through democratic processes. As scientists attempt to reach consensus, they engage in a process known as "argumentation" whereby they attempt to persuade others of the validity of their claims. In fact, argumentation has been called the "language of science." Argumentation has also been identified as a possible mechanism for conceptual growth and change. In this article, the author begins by briefly discussing forms of argument and describing two frameworks that may be used to analyze arguments. Next, the author reviews the science argumentation literature, highlights themes, and examines research trends. Finally, the author poses questions that could be addressed by future research and reflects upon two pedagogical implications that arise in the science argumentation literature. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
Western Illinois University. Document and Publications Services, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390. Tel: 309-298-1917; Fax: 309-298-2869; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A