Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the composite practice that forms when classrooms take up the practice of scientific argumentation
by Kuhn Berland, Leema, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2008, 367; 3331113
Abstract (Summary)

Traditional classroom practices communicate epistemic commitments and goals that might be contrary to those needed for meaningful participation in scientific inquiry practices. In this dissertation, I explore how traditional classroom practices influence students' participation in the practice of scientific argumentation. I address this through a two-pronged approach. First, given that students do not typically engage in collaborative knowledge-building through scientific argumentation, I used the best-practices put forth by relevant research to support teachers in facilitating this practice. Second, I worked with four classes as they enacted a unit designed to foster scientific argumentation. I observed the emergent class discussions and engaged in discourse analysis in which I related the interaction patterns found in non-argumentative class discussions to those that occurred in lessons designed to foster scientific argumentation. Examining the argumentative discussions reveals that each class transformed the practice in different ways. Comparing these interactions to those of the non-argumentative suggests that students used the goals and beliefs that guided their typical classroom practices to interpret the activity structures for and teacher's framings of the new practice of scientific argumentation. In this dissertation, I present a research methodology for understanding the relationship between typical classroom practices and student adaptations of new scientific practices; design strategies for supporting scientific argumentation; and a framework for understanding how and why classroom communities adapt the practice of scientific argumentation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reiser, Brian J.
Commitee: Davis, Elizabeth, Lee, Carol, Sherin, Bruce
School: Northwestern University
Department: Education and Social Policy - Learning Sciences
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Science education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Classroom culture, Classroom discourse, Curriculum development, Design research, Scientific argumentation
Publication Number: 3331113
ISBN: 978-0-549-88358-6
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