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Facilitating Scientific Argumentation in a Chemistry Classroom

Project Type: Practitioner Inquiry
Discipline: Science
Duration: 01/2016 - 07/2016
Domain: Pedagogical Approaches


Student-led discourse is often missing in the science classroom. Instead, a teacher-led structure that focuses on facts rather than students’ reasoning skill often dominates the whole-class discourse. Consequently, students respond with single-word or short answers rather than reasoned arguments, rendering this teacher-controlled mode of enquiry meaningless to students. Recent research in science education has shown that scientific argumentation provides opportunities that support students’ critical thinking, metacognition and the social construction of knowledge, leading to a more vibrant, engaged and socially inclusive environment for meaningful science learning. This study investigates an argumentation-based approach that has been used to generate dialogue and promote active learning in Year 3 Chemistry classes. This study also looks into how this mode of instruction creates opportunities for ‘doing’ science, learning about science and building knowledge of the nature of science. Students’ experience and feedback on this approach of instruction was reported, and the benefits and challenges of this approach were discussed.

Research Personnel:

InvestigatorMs Doreen LohScience

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