Reiser and Sampson both made argument for the advantages of instruction models that emphasize the importance of argumentation and explanation. Both of the papers were reviews on how well the instruction models worked in other studies. Examples of how the models were used in classrooms and how the students successfully completed the models’ lessons were given. Reiser studied the model given in the book Framework, and Sampson studied the Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) method.
Student discussion and peer critique was a largely important piece of the methods puzzles. This is to encourage students to make solid arguments, including quality evidence and good communication, to convince others their explanation is correct. If the argument is not thorough, the students’ peers can critique the argument, and the students have to refine their argument. Reiser and Sampson, just like Lehrer, want students to learn, not just disciplinary knowledge, but also scientific inquiry. They both repeatedly compared their instruction methods to how scientists in a scientific community reach answers to questions. They believe that students in the classroom should understand how a scientific community works to build knowledge, like it has throughout the ages. This reminds me of Hazen’s paper of the history of science. We also brought up in class that this method might motivate or interest students more, instead of the simple and repeated experiments we were exposed to.
These instructional methods are, interestingly, similar to Lehrer’s modeling instruction method. Lehrer may focus more on the importance of modeling to a student’s understanding, but in all three instructional methods, students experiment and then use models to discuss and critique each other’s work to reach an improved answer to a question. The actual experimentation is just a small piece for all three authors. ‘Failure’ is necessary to students, according to Lehrer, Reiser, and Sampson, as well as minimal, but good, scaffolding on the teacher’s part. ADI, A Framework, and modeling seem to be virtually the same teaching method, just with different names.
One idea that Sampson puts forth in his ADI method is the possibility of integrating other subjects into the lessons. Good communication skills, particularly in reading and writing, are crucial for the students to make a good argument. I remember doing a science project, creating an imaginary zoo, in seventh grade that crossed over into language arts, social studies, and math. This type of method would require a little more cooperation, effort, and time between teachers, but I believe that this could be a good way to encourage students to make connections between subject areas. I wonder if teachers working together across subject fields could help minimize the time and resource problems we’ve been bringing up in class, or cause more difficulties?