Why use Argumentation?
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Argumentation has been described as being ‘a core activity of scientists’ (Driver et al 2000), so it should therefore be included as an activity in school science.  There is a dearth of media reporting about socio-scientific issues currently and sometimes these issues can be sensationalised with some bias and little supporting evidence.  Students need to be able to make informed decisions, so they need to be taught the skills required to make these decisions (science for citizenship).  

Students ability to argue within a scientific framework therefore needs to be developed, once developed it can then be used as a tool for discussing socio-scientific issues, such as GM foods and vaccinations.    

The introduction of the ‘Ideas and Evidence in Science’ section to the Sc1 strand of the National Curriculum (More info) further justifies the usefulness of argumentation as a teaching tool.  Argumentation can help students by giving them a ‘framework’ for discussing these types of issues, various resources are being developed to help assist the teaching of the this aspect of ideas and evidence (Osborne, Erduran & Simon, 2004).    

What is Argumentation? Why use Argumentation? How to use Argumentation

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Last modified: 08/12/04