Argumentative Skills in the Design of Webquests in Environmental Education for Secondary Students

By Jesús González Lamas and Virginia Aznar Cuadrado.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 2007 the Organic Law on Education was passed by the Spanish parliament. One of the new approaches introduced by this law refers to the term of the achievement of basic competences by pupils.
Competences are defined as integral actions to identify, argue and solve problems integrating knowledge of being, doing and knowing.
Eight competences were established: Mathematical, linguistic communication, interaction with physical environment, digital competence, social and citizenship, artistic and cultural, learning to learn and personal autonomy and initiative.
To reach a balanced fulfillment of these competences a new methodological approach has to be faced by teachers based not on repetition, but in investigation and argumentation of new concepts and ideas.
Webquests are methodological tools which enable teachers to develop new kinds of activities and allow students to create new products. They are structured and divided in different stages: introduction, task, process, resources and evaluation.
In our study we try to identify methodological patterns used by teachers in the design of webquests: if technology is used as a prompt to induce a new educational approach, or if it is just used to reproduce traditional teaching roles based in mere concept repetition.
We search for the inclusion of all patterns leading to facilitate students build their own knowledge: from the inclusion of open questions, to group management and new assessment patterns.
Data for our study are taken from online web repositories of webquests for environmental education in compulsory secondary education (students aged 12 to 16) in Spain.

Keywords: Secondary Education, Webquest, Argumentation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.63-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 790.563KB).

Dr. Jesús González Lamas

Teacher, Department of ELT, Colegio Montesol (Secondary School), Vigo, Galicia, Spain

Teacher at Colegio Montesol Secondary School in Vigo. Degree in English and Spanish philology. Research lines: EFL didactic research

Dr. Virginia Aznar Cuadrado

Teacher, Faculty of Teacher Training, University of Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, Galicia, Spain

Teacher of Science Education

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