ERIC Number: EJ1054046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Supporting Teachers to Attend to Generalisation in Science Classroom Argumentation
Shemwell, Jonathan T.; Gwarjanski, Kalee R.; Capps, Daniel K.; Avargil, Shirly; Meyer, Joanna L.
International Journal of Science Education, v37 n4 p599-628 2015
In scientific arguments, claims must have meaning that extends beyond the immediate circumstances of an investigation. That is, claims must be generalised in some way. Therefore, teachers facilitating classroom argumentation must be prepared to support students' efforts to construct or criticise generalised claims. However, widely used argumentation support tools, for instance, the claim-evidence-reasoning (CER) framework, tend not to address generalisation. Accordingly, teachers using these kinds of tools may not be prepared to help their students negotiate issues of generalisation in arguments. We investigated this possibility in a study of professional development activities of 18 middle school teachers using CER. We compared the teachers' approach to generalisation when using a published version of CER to their approach when using an alternate form of CER that increased support for generalisation. In several different sessions, the teachers: (1) responded to survey questions when using CER, (2) critiqued student arguments, (3) used both CER and alternate CER to construct arguments, and (4) discussed the experience of using CER and alternate CER. When using the standard CER, the teachers did not explicitly attend to generalisation in student arguments or in their own arguments. With alternate CER, the teachers generalised their own arguments, and they acknowledged the need for generalisation in student arguments. We concluded that teachers using frameworks for supporting scientific argumentation could benefit from more explicit support for generalisation than CER provides. More broadly, we concluded that generalisation deserves increased attention as a pedagogical challenge within classroom scientific argumentation.
Descriptors: Generalization, Persuasive Discourse, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Faculty Development, Middle School Teachers, Comparative Analysis, Evidence, Logical Thinking, Surveys, Instructional Effectiveness, Secondary School Science, Statistical Analysis, Qualitative Research, Intervention, Rural Schools, Grade 6, Grade 8, Grade 9, Group Discussion
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL- 0962805