Examining Science Teachers’ Argumentation in a Teacher Workshop on Earthquake Engineering
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the quality of science teachers’ argumentation as a result of their engagement in a teacher workshop on earthquake engineering emphasizing distributed learning approaches, which included concept mapping, collaborative game playing, and group lesson planning. The participants were ten high school science teachers from US high schools who elected to attend the workshop. To begin and end the teacher workshop, teachers in small groups engaged in concept mapping exercises with other teachers. Researchers audio-recorded individual teachers’ argumentative statements about the inclusion of earthquake engineering concepts in their concept maps, which were then analyzed to reveal the quality of teachers’ argumentation. Toulmin’s argumentation model formed the framework for designing a classification schema to analyze the quality of participants’ argumentative statements. While the analysis of differences in pre- and post-workshop concept mapping exercises revealed that the number of argumentative statements did not change significantly, the quality of participants’ argumentation did increase significantly. As these differences occurred concurrently with distributed learning approaches used throughout the workshop, these results provide evidence to support distributed learning approaches in professional development workshop activities to increase the quality of science teachers’ argumentation. Additionally, these results support the use of concept mapping as a cognitive scaffold to organize participants’ knowledge, facilitate the presentation of argumentation, and as a research tool for providing evidence of teachers’ argumentation skills.
KeywordsArgumentation Teacher development Engineering education Distributed learning Concept map
We wish to acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant ESI-0830311) and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions expressed in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency or Texas A&M University.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
We, the authors of this manuscript, testify that our manuscript submitted to the Journal of Science Education and Technology has not been published in whole or in part elsewhere, is not currently being considered for publication in another journal, and all authors have been personally and actively involved in substantive work leading to the manuscript and will hold themselves jointly and individually responsible for its content.
- Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Weiss, I. R., Malzahn, K. A., Campbell, K. M., & Weis, A. M. (2013). Report of the 2012 national survey of science and mathematics education. Chapel Hill: Horizon Research Inc.Google Scholar
- Billig, M. (1987). Arguing and thinking: A rhetorical approach to social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Brown, A. L., Ash, D., Rutherford, M., Nakagawa, K., Gordon, A., & Campione, J. C. (2003). In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 188–228). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Custer, R. L., & Daugherty, J. L. (2009). Professional development for teachers of engineering: Research and related activities. The Bridge: Linking Engineering and Society, 39(3), 18–24.Google Scholar
- Giere, R. (1991). Understanding scientific reasoning (3rd ed.). Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
- Goldman, S. R., Petrosino, A. J., & Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1999). Design principles for instruction in content domains: Lessons from research on expertise and learning. In F. T. Durso, R. S. Nickerson, R. W. Schvaneveldt, S. T. Dumais, D. S. Lindsay, & M. T. H. Chi (Eds.), Handbook of applied cognition (pp. 595–627). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Jimenez-Aleixandre, M. P., & Erduran, S. (2008). Argumentation in science education: An overview. In S. Erduran & M. P. Jimenez-Aleixandre (Eds.), Argumentation in science education: Perspectives from classroom-based research (pp. 3–27). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Jonassen, D. (2000). Revising activity theory as a framework for designing student-centered learning environments. In D. Jonassen & S. Land (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of learning environments (pp. 89–121). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (2009). The status and nature of K-12 engineering education in the united states. The Bridge: Linking Engineering and Society, 39(3), 5–10.Google Scholar
- Kuhn, T. E. (1962). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1986). Laboratory life: The construction of scientific facts (2nd ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K– 8. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (2014). STEM integration in K-12 education: Status, prospects, and an agenda for research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- NGSS. (2013). NGSS release: Appendix A - conceptual shifts. Retrieved from www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards
- Perkins, A. (2016). Earthquake: Game-Based Learning for 21st Century STEM Education (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/157955.
- Popper, K. (1959). The logic of scientific discovery. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
- Purzer, S., Moore, T., Baker, D. & Berland, L. (2014). Supporting the implementation of the next generation science standards (NGSS) through research: Engineering. Retrieved from https://narst.org/ngsspapers/engineering.cfm
- Randolph, J. J. (2008). Online Kappa Calculator [Computer software]. Retrieved January 10, 2016 , from http://justus.randolph.name/kappa
- Randolph, J. J. (2016). Online kappa calculator. Retrieved from http://justusrandolph.net/kappa/
- Toulmin, S. E. (1958). The uses of argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Venville, G. J., & Dawson, V. M. (2010). The impact of a classroom intervention on grade 10 students' argumentation skills, informal reasoning, and conceptual understanding of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(8), 952–977.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Wilson, S. M. (2011). Effective STEM teacher preparation, induction, and professional development. Paper Presented at the National Research Council Workshop on Successful STEM Education in K-12 Schools, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar