Cognitive Tools for Scaffolding Argumentation

  • John NesbitEmail author
  • Hui Niu
  • Qing Liu


The cognitive skill of argumentation has two fundamental roles in education. First, it is a curricular goal in and of itself (“learn to argue”), and second, it is an instructional strategy for advancing understanding in history, mathematics, science, and many other subjects (“argue to learn”). In this chapter we inquire how educational technologies can advance these interdependent and mutually supportive roles of argumentation. Our focus is on cognitive tools learners can use to generate arguments more complex than those they would otherwise be capable of. We introduce the ideas of cognitive schemas, cognitive tools, argument tagging, and argument maps; and we discuss our research on the benefits of using argumentation-oriented study tools. Finally, we consider how such tools might be introduced across school subjects.


Argumentation Cognitive tools Scaffold Argue 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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