When Scientific Knowledge, Daily Life Experience, Epistemological and Social Considerations Intersect: Students’ Argumentation in Group Discussions on a Socio-scientific Issue

Research in Science Education (Impact Factor: 1.34). 38(1):67-90. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-007-9040-2

ABSTRACT Socio-scientific issues in class have been proposed in an effort to democratise science in society. A micro-ethnographic approach
has been used to explore how students elaborate arguments on a socio-scientific controversy in the context of small group
discussions. Several processes of group argumentation have been identified. Students’ arguments were elaborated from scientific
data, common ideas and epistemological and strategic considerations. Students’ social interactions influenced the patterns
of argumentation elaborated within the group discussions. Implications of this study for the teaching of socio-scientific
issues in class are discussed.

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