Arguing to learn and learning to argue

Arguing to learn and learning to argue - Education Tech...

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REVIEW ARTICLE Arguing to learn and learning to argue: design justifications and guidelines David H. Jonassen Bosung Kim Published online: 21 November 2009 Ó Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2009 Abstract Meaningful learning requires deep engagement with ideas. Deep engagement is supported by the critical thinking skill of argumentation. Learning to argue represents an important way of thinking that facilitates conceptual change and is essential for problem solving. In order to appropriately apply argumentation practices to learning, we first dis- cuss reasons for using argumentation in learning environments or instruction. Next, we describe the skills of argumentation along with difficulties that learners experience when trying to argue. Following a brief description of the kinds of argumentation to persuade an audience of the validity of your position or solution (rhetorical) or to attempt to resolve differences in opinions or solutions (dialectical), we describe methods and guidelines for eliciting arguments from students. We conclude with processes for assessing the quality of student-generated arguments. Keywords Argumentation Á Problem solving Á Computer-supported collaborative argumentation Why learn to argue? ‘‘It is in argument that we are likely to find the most significant way in which higher order thinking and reasoning figure in the lives of most people. Thinking as argument is implicated in all of the beliefs people hold, the judgments they make, and the conclusions they come to; it arises every time a significant decision must be made. Hence, argumentative thinking lies at the heart of what we should be concerned about in exam- ining how, and how well, people think’’ (Kuhn 1992 , pp. 156–157). Argumentation is the means by which we rationally resolve questions, issues, and disputes and solve problems. Embedding and fostering argumentative activities in learning environments promotes productive ways of thinking, conceptual change, and problem solving. D. H. Jonassen ( & ) Á B. Kim University of Missouri, 221C Townsend Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA e-mail: [email protected] B. Kim e-mail: [email protected] 123 Education Tech Research Dev (2010) 58:439–457 DOI 10.1007/s11423-009-9143-8
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Ways of thinking Many science education scholars argue that argumentation is central to scientific thinking (Driver et al. 2000 ; Duschl and Osborne 2002 ; Kuhn 1993 ; Newton et al. 1999 ). Practicing scientists engage in argumentation in order to articulate and refine their own scientific knowledge (vonAufschnaiter et al. 2008 ). When science is applied, the public uses argu- ments to engage in debates about important issues. For example, environmental, health, and food production issues affect the public, which must have a legitimate voice in resolving those issues (Driver et al. 2000 ).
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  • Summer '14
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