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... Students worked in their small groups to gather their initial thoughts about why plants might be green. Next, students discussed their ideas as a class and developed an initial consensus explanation (Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon 2012) followed by students gathering evidence through investigations. These initial explanations served as a preliminary assessment of student conceptual understanding (Assessment 1; see the Evidence-Based Preliminary Explanation Worksheet). ...
... The students were then able to determine which wavelengths of light were most/least efficient for photosynthesis based on the number of oxygen bubbles produced at each experimental condition. After the students gathered evidence from these investigations, they engaged in the scientific practice of creating an evidence-based explanation to address the guiding question, "Why are plants green?" (Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon 2012). First, the students drafted individual explanations based on the evidence they collected in their notebooks. ...
... In this regard, recently, international documents, especially the American document A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012), and studies (e.g. Bybee, 2011;Ferraz & Sasseron, 2017;Krajcik & Merritt, 2012;Reiser et al., 2012) have stated that working in a way that is integrated with those scientific practices is considered essential for science teaching, namely preparing questions and defining problems; preparing and using models; planning and executing investigations; analysing and interpreting data; using mathematics and computational thoughts; constructing explanations and developing solutions; getting involved in argumentation supported by evidence and obtaining, appraising and communicating information, can all strengthen the students' learning of and about Science and also help to develop their skills (for example argumentative skills, leading investigations and preparation of explanations). ...
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Few empirical studies in Science Education have investigated the contributions of inte- grating scientific practices such as argumentation and modelling. In this article, I examine the characteristics of high school students’ argumentative dialogues in different modelling situations. From this, I discuss the influences of modelling and the nature of each situation analysed on the characteristics of the students’ argumentative dialogues. One didactic unit consisting of sets of modelling activities in everyday, scientific and socio-scientific situ- ations was applied in a regular class. The tool that describes argumentative dialogues in science teaching contexts across the varied and interrelated dimensions was applied to high school students’ argumentative dialogues that took place during modelling situations. Data collection (involving audio and video recording plus observations made by the researcher) revealed that students engaged in different argumentative dialogues, which were made up of different types of dialogic and meta-dialogic moves. Most of these moves were rele- vant and also contributed to the construction of knowledge in all modelling situations. The results also show that the nature of the situation can influence specific aspects of students’ argumentation, but such influence does not interfere with the quality of their argumentative dialogues; the argumentative dialogues are connected to persuasion, information sharing and sharing the same idea in all modelling stages; and the modelling influences the stu- dents to engage in quality argumentative dialogues that ultimately contributes to the con- struction of knowledge of different natures. Implications for future research and classroom practice are presented and discussed.
... V. Schwarz et al., 2009). With the practices of Constructing Explanations and Argument from Evidence, researchers have studied the overlapping and supporting meanings of explanation and argumentation (Berland & McNeill, 2012;Osborne & Patterson, 2011), the use of technology to support students' explanations (Sandoval & Reiser, 2004), and the role of argumentation in investigations (Reiser et al., 2012). These studies highlight the way explanations or argumentation facilitate students in making sense of science content. ...
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The National Research Council developed a framework for science education that has become an important element in current reform efforts in science education. A major component of this framework is a set of science practices meant to be integrated with disciplinary core ideas to provide students authentic learning experiences. To better understand the connection between science practices and teaching, this study examines the knowledge and use of the practices by a group of preservice elementary teachers. While many studies have researched the practices individually or in small sets, few have looked at the practices holistically. Those that have, examined preservice teachers’ knowledge and teaching either in their methods course, or a little beyond that into their first years of teaching. This dissertation addresses this gap by looking at several science practices and tracking a group of preservice elementary teachers’ engagement, knowledge, and teaching with the science practices from a physics course, through a methods course, and into student teaching. Using qualitative methods, this longitudinal study draws on lab work, participant generated lesson plans, interviews, and videorecords of teaching enactments to understand the preservice teachers’ experiences and knowledge. This study follows nine participants drawn from a group of 30 preservice elementary teachers enrolled in a science methods course and who took physics either that academic year or the year before. Four of the nine continued with the study into their student teaching. To evaluate the participants’ engagement, knowledge, and use of the practices in teaching, I developed a set of rubrics to determine their level of sophistication. The participants engaged in the practices at a novice level, which was consistent with their prior experiences. For every practice, the participants understood the practices with more sophistication than they were able to engage in them. This suggests that their knowledge of the practices did not constrain their engagement. The participants’ lesson planning and teaching sophistication scores were a measure of how appropriately they incorporated the practices into their lessons, aligned the practices with the subject matter, and considered the age and grade level of their students. From the beginning to the end of the study, the participants’ sophistication in planning and teaching increased for three of four practices. These findings suggest that teacher educators should consider the experiences their preservice teachers have had with the science practices. For example, many preservice elementary teachers have had few experiences with modeling, especially designing their own models. Their experiences with modeling in the physics course likely increased their knowledge of the practice, and while they did not use it often in their teaching, they did so at a strong level. Second, teacher educators should consider the possible positive effects that content courses can have when they are included within the contextual discourses of the teacher preparation program. This is especially true for elementary programs that are already pressed for time. The preservice teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the practices can influence how they teach with the practices. For example, if they have a limited understanding of a practice (e.g., Data Analysis & Mathematical Thinking), they might use the practice less often with their students, or they could overestimate the abilities of their students with a practice based on their own knowledge and experience with the practice.
... NGSS are based on learning progressions of core ideas in the discipline, concepts that cut across disciplines and practices that will allow students to use their disciplinary knowledge in thoughtful ways. A difference from earlier 1996 standards from the National Research Council, NGSS Science and Engineering Practices are characterized as ways of identifying the reasoning behind, discourse about, and application of the core ideas in science [9]. ...
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Next Generation Science Standards science and engineering practices (NGSS S&E) are ways of eliciting reasoning and applying foundational ideas in science. Studies have revealed one major impediment to implementing the NGSS, namely, insufficient teacher preparation, which is a concern at all teaching levels. The present study examined a program grounded in research on how students learn science and engineering pedagogical content knowledge and strategies for incorporating NGSS S&E practices into instruction. The program provided guided teaching practice, content learning experiences in the physical sciences, engineering design tasks, and extended projects. Research questions included: To what extent did the Program increase teachers’ competence and confidence in science content, with emphasis on science and engineering practices? To what extent did the program increase teachers’ use of reformed teaching practices? This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental design examined teacher outcomes in the program for 24 months. The professional development (PD) findings revealed significant increases in teachers’ competence and confidence in integrating science and engineering practices in the classroom. These findings and their specificity contribute to current knowledge and can be utilized by districts in selecting PD to support teachers in preparing to implement the NGSS successfully.
... Engaging in inquiry provides students with an opportunity to acquire an authentic understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge, develop thinking strategies as well as a deep understanding of science content, and appreciation for the work of scientists (Bell et al., 2003;Crawford, 2007Crawford, , 2014. Inquiry can also support in developing their scientific practices, such as constructing scientific explanations, practice argumentation from evidence (Berland & Reiser, 2009;Reiser et al., 2012), and their reasoning skills that will support them in future encounters with science (Stender et al., 2018). Research indicates that inquiry has positive effects on students' interest, motivation, and attitudes towards science (Potvin & Hasni, 2014). ...
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Engaging students in inquiry is a key component in order to fulfill essential goals in science education. To achieve successful engagement in inquiry process, students need to feel competent and autonomous in spite of the cognitive and mental challenges the process entails. The study focuses on the problematizing mechanisms of scaffolds and highlights the centrality of metacognition in the inquiry process. The study’s primary goal was to examine how providing students involved in inquiry with individual, social, or a combination of both metacognitive scaffoldings affected their expressions of competence and autonomy. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, we examined middle-school students’ expressions of competence and autonomy in an online asynchronous forum that accompanied a year-long socio-scientific inquiry process. The process included four research conditions which differed by the metacognitive scaffolding students received: only individual, only social, both individual and social, and no metacognitive scaffolds. Although no significance difference was observed in students’ expressions of competence in the initial phases of the inquiry among the research groups, students who received individual or social metacognitive scaffolding increased these expressions as they progressed through the process. Expressions of competence by students who received a combination of both types of support remained constant. In contrast, a significant decrease in students’ expressions of competence was observed in the control group. Regarding autonomy, students’ expressions of autonomy from all scaffolded conditions remained constant throughout the inquiry process, except for a significant decrease, experienced by students in the control group. The results are discussed through the lens of problematizing mechanism by which metacognitive scaffolding operate.
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This article is published in the journal: Ensino & Pesquisa... Abstract: Interest in research involving Scientific Practices has increased in recent years due to the importance given to the term in recent Science Education standards. This research presents results of a Systematic Review of articles involving Scientific Practices in Science Education. 44 articles from journals published in the last ten years (2010-2019) were analyzed from four databases: ERIC, Scielo, Scopus, and Web of Science. The objectives were: I) To identify publications involving Scientific Practices in Science Education; II) To synthesize the characteristics of these publications, and III) To critically analyze research trends. A qualitative investigation was carried out guided by Bardin's Content Analysis (2011) and Okoli's guide to a Systematic Review (2015). As a result, it was identified that 26 articles (59.1%) were from North America and 18 (40.9%) from other countries in Europe, South America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa, thus characterizing Scientific Practices as a topic of international repercussion. The increase in research involving Scientific Practices, as seen in 89% of the studies which were published in the second half of the last decade, can be justified due to: 1) The impact of guiding documents which present great emphasis on Scientific Practices; and 2) The preference of some studies to use the concept of three-dimensional learning instead of “inquiry.” Among the most cited references, are the NRC (2012) and NGSS (2013) in 67.6% and 45.9% of the articles, respectively. Research gaps in Scientific Practices are also identified, such as a need for more research with a central focus on the theme, and research that investigates pre-service teacher education. Research in this context is relevant, since Science teaching supported by Scientific Practices is more easily promoted with intentional instruction in the initial training of teachers.
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Estos materiales son parte de los resultados del proyecto de investigación EPIS-PRACT y pretenden servir como recursos para el profesorado de educación secundaria interesado en promover el desarrollo del conocimiento sobre la naturaleza de las prácticas científicas en el aula. El uso de estas tareas en el aula proporciona al alumnado oportunidades para aplicar los conocimientos curriculares en contextos que requieren un papel activo, la toma de decisiones, pensamiento crítico y creatividad.
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This study investigated the perceptions and quality of argumentative and summary writing of the Pre-service Science Teachers (PSTs) who participated in a knowledge generation approach to learning, which is known as the SWH approach, and who had had experience with it across different time periods. A total of 41 PSTs were divided into three groups based on their experience with the SWH approach in the courses entitled General Chemistry Laboratory I and II. An embedded single-case study design was employed for this study. The data sources included the PSTs’ argumentative writings, summary writings and semi-structured interviews. The results were analyzed using both statistical and content analysis. The findings showed that the argumentative and summary writing activities were positively correlated with each other and the PSTs in the three groups benefited from these writing activities when implemented in analytical chemistry. However, the quality of the PSTs’ argumentative and summary writings was affected by time. The PSTs who had a shorter time between writing experiences in their chemistry lab and analytical chemistry courses were more successful in both argumentative and summary writing activities in analytical chemistry than the other PSTs. The PSTs in the groups realized that writing tasks were epistemological and reasoning tools that enabled them to understand the topic better and indicated that the writing process was a learning process through which they were able to construct new knowledge. They were aware of the cognitive demands involved in the writing, and realized how this would enhance their future teaching careers and their overall conceptual understanding of analytical chemistry. This study suggests that PSTs should be engaged in argumentative and summary writing activities in knowledge generation environments for both their own learning and future teaching career.
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Science educators are placing increasing emphasis on the development of students' interdisciplinary competence. This study examined the degree to which disciplinary, cognitive and affective factors could explain students' (N = 385) individual differences in interdisciplinary competence. Multiple linear regression indicated that students' disciplinary knowledge (DK), attitudes toward interdisciplinary approach and interdisciplinary learning opportunities were significant when added to the prediction model. Notably, the results of a semistructured interview and think‐aloud session suggested that students' engineering design knowledge was not robust in their responses. Students' feelings toward interdisciplinary learning affected how they mobilized DK to create comprehensive insight into all aspects relevant to the possible solution. Additionally, students' feelings about the interdisciplinary approach influenced their exposure to interdisciplinary issues outside school and engagement in interdisciplinary learning tasks at school, which affected their integration of scientific ideas across disciplines. The results of this study can inform both the movement toward incorporating an interdisciplinary approach into pedagogy and educators and instructors about the factors and possible mechanisms that may shape students' interdisciplinary competence.
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Interdisciplinary approach is viewed as the best way to learn about and perceive complex scientific phenomena in the real world; therefore, students need to develop interdisciplinary habits of mind in K-12 science education. This article provided a framework for understanding middle school students’ interdisciplinary competence that included four dimensions, each with three performance levels. Science educators have claimed that the current assessment system is still oriented towards single discipline-based science learning. Therefore, this study presented a validated instrument based on our multidimensional construct to explore students’ interdisciplinary competence. The participants in this study were 385 9th graders in Henan Province in China. Multidimensional Rasch analysis suggested that this measure had satisfactory reliability and validity. All the students demonstrated the basic level of ability for each dimension. More competent science learners were found to achieve higher ability levels. In addition, students with different scientific proficiencies underperformed in different dimensions. Implications and suggestions for interdisciplinary science teaching and assessment were also discussed.
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In this paper, we argue that there is an emergent confusion in the literature in the use of the terms “argument'' and “explanation.” Drawing on a range of publications, we point to instances where these terms are either used inappropriately or conflated. We argue that the distinction between these two constructs is, however, important as a lack of clarity of fundamental concepts is problematic for a field. First, a lack of common conception hinders effective communication and, second, it makes defining the nature of the activity we might expect students to engage in more difficult. Drawing on a body of scholarship on argument and explanation, this paper is an attempt to clarify the distinction and to explain why such a distinction might matter. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed95:627–638, 2011
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Constructing scientific explanations and participating in argumentative discourse are seen as essential practices of scientific inquiry (e.g., R. Driver, P. Newton, & J. Osborne, 2000). In this paper, we identify three goals of engaging in these related scientific practices: (1) sensemaking, (2) articulating, and (3) persuading. We propose using these goals to understand student engagement with these practices, and to design instructional interventions to support students. Thus, we use this framework as a lens to investigate the question: What successes and challenges do students face as they engage in the scientific practices of explanation and argumentation? We study this in the context of a curriculum that provides students and teachers with an instructional framework for constructing and defending scientific explanations. Through this analysis, we find that students consistently use evidence to make sense of phenomenon and articulate those understandings but they do not consistently attend to the third goal of persuading others of their understandings. Examining the third goal more closely reveals that persuading others of an understanding requires social interactions that are often inhibited by traditional classroom interactions. Thus, we conclude by proposing design strategies for addressing the social challenges inherent in the related scientific practices of explanation and argumentation. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 93:26-55, 2009
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In this article, the author presents the science and engineering practices from the recently released "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" (NRC 2011). The author recognizes the changes implied by the new framework, and that a new generation of science education standards will present new perspectives for the science education community. Although the NRC report is a framework and not standards, it is prudent for those in the science and technology education community to begin preparing for the new standards. This article focuses primarily on one aspect of the new NRC framework--science and engineering practices--because these practices are basic to science education and the change from inquiry to practices is central. The new emphasis on practices reinforces the need for school science programs to actively involve students through investigations and, in the 21st century, digitally based programs and activities. This innovation for the new standards will likely be one of the most significant challenges for the successful implementation of science education standards. (Contains 8 figures.)
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What role can technology play in cultivating a disciplinary stance — raising questions, planning investigations, interpreting data and constructing explanations in a way that reflects disciplinary values and principles? How can overt and tacit expert scientific knowledge be captured, represented and used to design software that enables novices to assume a disciplinary stance in their investigations? We present The Galapagos Finches software designed to foster a biological and evolutionary stance. Our approach, Discipline-Specific Strategic Support (DSSS), translates the main variable types, comparison types and relationships in a discipline into manipulable objects in the interface. Pre/post-tests show how DSSS helps achieve a balance between content and process goals. A contrastive-case microanalysis of high, medium and low-achieving students’ inquiry shows progress toward a disciplinary stance. Our study shows how software representations carry multiple levels of meaning, and that the efficacy of learning technologies hinges on reflection at both the navigation and disciplinary-signification levels.
Article
In recent years, research on students' scientific argumentation has progressed to a recognition of nascent resources: Students can and do argue when they experience the need and possibility of persuading others who may hold competing views. Our purpose in this article is to contribute to this progress by applying the perspective of framing to the question of when and how a class forms and maintains a sense of their activity as argumentative. In particular, we examine three snippets from a sixth-grade class with respect to how the students—and the teacher—experience, or frame, what is taking place. We argue that they show dynamics of framing for individuals and for the class as a whole that affect and are affected by students' engagement in argumentation. We close the article with implications of this perspective for research, teaching, and instructional design. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 49: 68–94, 2012
Article
Scientific explanation plays a central role in science education reform documents, including the Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Science Education Standards, and the recent research report, Taking Science to School. While scientific explanation receives significant emphases in these documents, there is little discussion or consensus within the science education community about the nature of explanation itself. However, debates about scientific explanation have been a mainstay for philosophers of science for decades. We argue that a more clearly articulated conceptualization of scientific explanation for science education is necessary for making the vision of science education reform a reality. In this essay, we use major philosophical theories of scientific explanation as lenses to examine how the science education community has constructed the idea of explanation. We also examine instructional practice in school science settings, including our own classrooms, where teachers and students are working to explain natural phenomena. Using these examples, we offer suggestions for preparing both educators and young learners to engage in explanatory discourses that are reasonably accountable to authentic epistemic practice in science. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed95:639–669, 2011
Making sense of argu-mentation and explanation
  • L K Berland
  • B J Reiser
Berland, L.K., and B.J. Reiser. 2009. Making sense of argu-mentation and explanation. Science Education 93 (1): 26–55
Seeing the science in children's thinking: Case studies of student inquiry in physical science
  • D Hammer
  • E H Van Zee
Hammer, D., and E.H. van Zee. 2006. Seeing the science in children's thinking: Case studies of student inquiry in physical science. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.