The first article, "Engaging students in Scientific practices of Explanation and Argumentation" broke down their Framework for science in a classroom. They provided a list of practices that should be applied in the classroom. They chose to focus on two of the practices in this article, those being: Constructing explanations and designing solutions and Engaging in argument from evidence. They recognize that explain can mean a clarification, an explanation as to why something occurred, or a justification, however they believe that an explanation is a "causal explanation that identifies the underlying chain of cause and effect." They promote a deeper understanding of the concept at hand. In order for a student to show understanding an explanation requires the use of primary or secondary evidence and models to back up or challenge an account of a scientific phenomena. In addition to this, the student must be able to highlight the shortcomings of the account or theory. The rest of the article discusses in specific the different steps that would be taken to form a succinct explanation.
The second article, "Argument-Driven Inquiry to promote understanding of important concepts and practices in biology" discusses a method in which the students are able to develop an argument that explains or answers a specific research question. They break the process down into many smaller steps to make sure the students are engaged in all aspects of the scientific process. The steps of ADI are as follows: Identify tasks to design an investigation, do a lab-based activity to gather and analyze data, formulate an argument based on the analysis of the data, communicate and justify ideas during argumentation session, write an investigative report, participate in a double blind peer review (students and teacher), revise report, and participate in a reflective discussion. They find that this model is effective because it is able to integrate science with other school subjects and places a large emphasis on reading, writing, and discussion. These aforementioned skills are essential to learning and represent the mediums through which students typically learn.
A common thread between these articles is the idea of explanation and argumentation. Both articles emphasize that it is important for students to formulate explanations for the scientific phenomena that they experience inside and outside the classroom. However, the articles go on to say that an explanation or a theory is not enough. Students must push beyond a simple explanation and use evidence gathered from recorded observations to support or refute their explanations. I find myself asking people all the time, "how do you know that?" or "can you cite your source?" Scientists are required to support their claims and theories with evidence as other scientists attempt to tear apart their theory. Common ideas shared between the two articles include gathering and analyzing data to justify claims, using models to showcase reasoning, and engaging in a revision process. Both articles believe in revising explanations after class discussion because bringing multiple student perspectives to the table allows the whole class to decide which parts of the explanation are strong and which are weak. As many ideas are thrown out there and picked apart by the class, only the best ideas and ones most grounded in evidence will be left standing. Both articles highlight the idea of science as an practice that require knowledge and skill. Reading, writing, and discussion are three skills that are essential to learning and important to learning science. Improving in these modes of communication will only increase learning ability as these skills are used in every subject and in everyday life.