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ERIC Number: EJ944040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0887-2376
The Multiple Faces of Argument in School Science
Cavagnetto, Andy
Science Scope, v35 n1 p34-37 Sep 2011
One common argument used by those who oppose evolution is that evolution is just a theory. This argument suggests that a theory has little support and is simply a glorified guess. This reasoning is not sound because it uses the everyday definition of theory in place of the scientific definition of the word. However, many citizens are persuaded by the argument because they do not understand how knowledge is constructed in science. This type of misunderstanding of how science knowledge comes to be is just one obvious example of scientific illiteracy and the common errors that people make when interpreting science in the popular media and everyday conversation. Findings from surveys suggest that science teachers need to consider how science is being portrayed in their classrooms and what they can do to include opportunities for students to use scientific language. One essential aspect of scientific language is argument--the construction and critique of ideas based on observable evidence. The purpose of this article is to summarize, provide examples, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of three argument-based instructional approaches. The article also provides references related to each type of argument approach so teachers can get more information about specific approaches.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail: membership@nsta.org; Web site: http://www.nsta.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A