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ERIC Number: EJ877069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Scientific Discourse in Three Urban Classrooms: The Role of the Teacher in Engaging High School Students in Argumentation
McNeill, Katherine L.; Pimentel, Diane Silva
Science Education, v94 n2 p203-229 Mar 2010
Argumentation is a core practice of science and has recently been advocated as an essential goal of science education. Our research focuses on the discourse in urban high school science classrooms in which the teachers used the same global climate change curriculum. We analyzed transcripts from three teachers' classrooms examining both the argument structure as well the dialogic interactions between students. Between 19% and 35% of the discourse focused on scientific argumentation in that students were using evidence and reasoning to justify their claims. Yet in terms of dialogic interactions, only one teacher's classroom was characterized by student-to-student interactions and students explicitly supporting or refuting the ideas presented by their peers. This teacher's use of open questions appeared to encourage students to construct and justify their claims using both their scientific and everyday knowledge. Furthermore, her explicit connections to previous students' comments appeared to encourage students to consider multiple views, reflect on their thinking and reflect on the thinking of their classmates. This study suggests that a teacher's use of open-ended questions may play a key role in supporting students in argumentation in terms of both providing evidence and reasoning for students' claims and encouraging dialogic interactions between students. (Contains 8 tables and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Grade 12; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A