Improving the Level of Pupils’ Grounds Included in their Dialogic Argumentation During the Didactic Elaboration of Obstacles in Science

By Michael Skoumios and Vassilia Hatzinikita.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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The grounds through which the pupils substantiate their claims are among the main elements defining the quality of their dialogic argumentation. The present research investigates the effects of the didactic elaboration of pupils’ obstacles in science on the quality of their dialogic argumentation and particularly on the improvement in the level of the grounds included in their individual comments during their discussions. Therefore, a teaching sequence on the didactic elaboration of pupils’ obstacles regarding temperature and heat was designed and implemented in primary school pupils (aged 11-12), while the pupils’ oral discourse was recorded throughout the teaching sequence. In order to record the level of the grounds included in pupils’ individual comments during the teaching sequence, the analysis of pupils’ oral discourse adopted Clark and Sampson’s classification (2008). This classification includes the four following levels of the grounds included in pupils’ individual comments: Level 0: comments without grounds, Level 1: comment with an explanation as grounds, Level 2: comment with evidence as grounds, Level 3: comment with an explanation and evidence or multiple pieces of evidence. Analysis results allowed for mapping the improvement in the levels of the grounds included in pupils’ individual comments during the teaching sequence. More specifically, it emerged that although the pupils tended to make ungrounded comments at the beginning of the teaching program, they tended to make grounded and even evidenced comments when the program was near completion. Hence, the didactic elaboration of pupils’ obstacles contributes to raising the level of the grounds included by the pupils in their comments, thus becoming a didactic strategy for improving the quality of their dialogic argumentation.

Keywords: Dialogic Argumentation, Oral Discourse, Grounds, Explanation, Evidence, Obstacles, Didactic Elaboration of an Obstacle, Science Education, Primary School Science

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.732MB).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Adjunct Lecturer, Hellenic Open University, Rhodes, Greece

Dr. Michael Skoumios obtained a first degree in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1987, a second degree in Education from the University of Aegean in 1992 and his PhD in Science Education from the Hellenic Open University in 2005. His research interests include science concept learning and teaching science in primary and secondary schools. He is currently teaching Science Education in the Department of Primary Education of the University of the Aegean (Greece).

Prof. Vassilia Hatzinikita

Academic Coordinator of the Master in Education, School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, Patra, Greece

Associate Professor Vassilia Hatzinikita is currently an academic coordinator of the Master in Education in the Hellenic Open University and a coordinator of Educational Research in Action module. Her research interests concern science teaching and learning as well as the analysis and development of educational materials. She has published a considerable number of research papers in journals, books and conference proceedings and has developed educational material for the Science Education module of the Hellenic Open University.