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Scientific Argumentation As A Foundation For The Design Of Inquiry-Based Science Instruction

Abstract

"Despite the attention that inquiry has received in science education research and policy, a coherent means for implementing inquiry in the classroom has been missing [1]. In recent research, scientific argumentation has received increasing attention for its role in science and in science education [2]. In this article, we propose that organizing a unit of instruction around building a scientific argument can bring inquiry practices together in the classroom in a coherent way. We outline a framework for argumentation, focusing on arguments that are central to science-arguments for the best explanation. We then use this framework as the basis for a set of design principles for developing a sequence of inquiry-based learning activities that support students in the construction of a scientific argument. We show that careful analysis of the argument that students are expected to build provides designers with a foundation for selecting resources and designing supports for scientific inquiry. Furthermore, we show that creating multiple opportunities for students to critique and refine their explanations through evidence-based argumentation fosters opportunities for critical thinking, while building science knowledge and knowledge of the nature of science."

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