Argumentation and Explanation
Sampson and Gleim (2009) articulate a model to incorporate genuine inquiry in the science classroom. The give a detailed description of how this process could be implemented with specific rationale as to why each step matters. The inquiry model presented provides opportunities for students to create, analyze and revise an investigation, its outcomes and their conclusions based upon evidence.
A few points I noticed from the readings:
- As I read the article on argumentative investigation, all I could think about is how excellent your classroom management would need to be to constantly be doing group work as well as for all of the peer feedback. There would also need to be a strong sense of trust and respect in the class for this to be successful.
- I really appreciated the explicit stating of the amount of class time required for each step. This process seems overwhelming, considering time constraints, but it is helpful to be able to see exactly what it will take to incorporate it in the classroom.
- These argumentation articles are similar to the modeling pieces and their emphasis on both revision and working with others.
The emphasis on the social side of science is a common theme between these two articles. They both provide rationale and methods for implementing a social component in the classroom. Students will learn from one another and their ideas will grow as they are required to defend their positions and critically consider others’ ideas. They work to replicate the scientific community within a classroom, giving students the opportunity to really do science.
Communication is also an important theme common between these two pieces. Arguing can be difficult, and many people who would consider themselves “science people” are not great communicators. Adding this aspect will help remove some of the artificial divides between different types of academic disciplines. Although it’s important to remember that students will need to be taught how to write, present and critique each other’s work appropriately. None of these things comes completely naturally, and students will come in with vastly different communication skills.