Strategies to Support Student Argument and Argumentative Writing in a Secondary STEM Classroom
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AbstractArgumentation is a critical goal of today’s schools as a way to develop rational citizens who can critique the validity claims about phenomenon in society and the natural world. This work reviews current educational research about the best practices when it comes to teaching and using argumentation in STEM disciplines. As a result of this literature review, three strategies are identified and implemented in a secondary STEM classroom to determine their impact. The specific strategies used to support argumentation were a clear argument structure, collaborative discourse, and engaging, inquiry based tasks. While the sample size is small, the literature review and this action-research suggest that these strategies are successful in strengthening students’ written arguments.
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Claim, Evidence, Reasoning Framework within Biology Laboratories on Scientific Literacy and ArgumentationVeronesi, Peter; LeRoy, Taylor (2020-12-09)As science education has progressed over the last several decades, there has been a shift towards inquiry, scientific argumentation, and laboratory skill development. Students today are being taught, not only how to understand scientific concepts, but how to apply them to their own questions and ideas. Scientific reasoning is the act of deriving meaning and importance from evidence or a set of data. This allows students to solve problems using their own thinking and to answer their own questions as well as questions posed to them. Students are better able to understand concepts within the broader context of the scientific world as well as their own personal world, and further, students develop the capability of creating their own opinions, claims, and questions regarding a given topic. Laboratory activities were specifically selected due to their ability to demonstrate key concepts related to each topic as well as allowing students independent exploration. The CERR graphic organizer was put together in a way that maximized scientific writing support. It has been shown that scientific discourse in the classroom, when guided by the CERR framework, increased high-level thinking about the content and students made more profound connections within the material. The goal of these CERR graphic organizers is to scaffold students’ ability to create a well-developed and supported scientific argument. By the end of the curriculum, students should be able to create a claim, defend it in a well-reasoned manner, include supportive evidence, and relate the concept to the world around them.
The Use of Argumentation in Socio-Scientific Issues: Enhancing Evolutionary Biology InstructionYounkyeong, Nam; Marchand, Heath R.; The College at Brockport (2015-08-15)With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), further emphasis in science education is being placed on preparing students to become more informed voters regarding social, ethical, economic and political topics that affect contemporary society. Parallel to this shift is a stronger emphasis on integrating evolutionary theory as a unifying concept in the biological sciences. Given that evolution is one of the aforementioned topics commonly discussed and debated about in social and political arenas, ensuring that instruction provides students from all backgrounds a comprehensive understanding of its principals is becoming increasingly important in contemporary science education. Chapter II of this project functions as a review of contemporary literature that will be utilized to help determine the best methodology for enhancing instruction and comprehension of prominent Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI) like evolution. Literature suggests that using argumentation to engage students in socially controversial scientific content may enhance comprehension and retention of material. More specifically, since evolution is a SSI that is often perceived by some to challenge individuals’ religious and ethical beliefs, engaging students in the content is often difficult using traditional methods that do not allow alternative, non-scientific ideologies to be incorporated. Therefore, it is suggested that the incorporation of a data driven, formal argumentation that allows students the option to argue either for or against evolution may serve to increase the level of engagement of the student body as a whole in evolutionary content. Chapter III of this project is a unit planned designed to incorporate data driven SSI argumentation into an evolutionary context. Through the use of five case studies, students will be introduced to the raw data that is used by evolutionary biologists to support evolutionary theory. Using these activities, students will collaboratively analyze the data, and be asked to decide individually whether to use it to support evolutionary theory or creationism. Subsequently, the formal argumentation piece is designed to engage all students in active argumentation using debate questions related to each case study.
For Arguments Sake, Let’s use Technology in the Science ClassroomYounkyeong, Nam; Chichester, Timothy P.; The College at Brockport (2014-12-10)The use of SSI argumentation has been used in the classroom to develop students understanding of scientific issues, but the current use is limited in how far the student’s understanding can go. The issues currently facing SSI argumentation in the classroom are: student’s lack of knowledge of the NOS, lack of communication between students, and engagement of students in developing evidence to support claims. My project will take these weaknesses of SSI, and improve them through the use of technology. The use of technology is becoming more prevalent in schools today, but improvements concerning the use of it are available. Through the use of technology, students are better able to form learning communities, communicate, conduct research, and as a result have more effective arguments.