Two of the basic dimensions characterizing the quality of the dialogic argumentation developed by the pupils in the classroom is the content (i.e., the accuracy or adequacy of the various elements in the argument when they are evaluated from a school science knowledge perspective) and the grounds included in pupils’ comments (i.e., how ideas or claims are supported or validated within an argument). The present paper aims to investigate the content and the grounds included in pupils’ oral comments produced in their group discussions during a teaching sequence focused on the didactic elaboration of primary school pupils’ (aged 11-12) obstacles. In this direction, a teaching sequence was designed and implemented –among others, focused on pupils’ group discussions–, which successively aimed to destabilise, restructure and finally help pupils recognise obstacles regarding temperature and heat. Pupils’ oral comments were collected, analysed in relation to their content and grounds included, and were finally classified into levels. It emerged that while the teaching sequence is in progress, there is an increase in the percentage of pupils’ comments including grounds as well as in comments directed to school science knowledge, while at the same time there is a decrease in the respective percentages of comments not including grounds and in comments directed to conceptual obstacles. The above findings demonstrate that the didactic elaboration of obstacles contributes substantially to the development of pupils’ ability to structure high quality dialogic argumentation. In addition, the analysis of the comments revealed that the pupils who use evidence as grounds in order to support their claims tend to activate conceptions directed to school science knowledge, while the pupils formulating only claims tend to express conceptions directed to the obstacles. Consequently, during the didactic elaboration of conceptual obstacles, learning appears to be “falling in step with” the development of pupils’ justification ability.
|Keywords:||Science Learning, Dialogic Argumentation, Grounds, Conceptual Content, Didactic Elaboration of an Obstacle, Primary School, Group Discussion, Comments|
Researcher, Hellenic Open University, Rhodes, Patras, Greece
Academic Coordinator of the Master in Education, School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece
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