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Title:Perceptions of Argumentative Discourse Among Freshmen College Students, Science Teachers and Practicing Scientists
Author(s):Abi-El-Mona, Issam H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:The study aimed to (a) elucidate college Freshmen science students, secondary science teachers, and practicing scientists' perceptions of scientific arguments and how these perceptions compare to Toulmin's (1958) formal analytical frameworks, which is often used to analyze arguments in the science education literature, and (b) characterize the nature of the criteria that participant students, teachers, and scientists deploy when assessing the "validity" of arguments. Participants were 30 (60% male, 40% female) students, science teachers, and scientists with 10 participants in each group. In-depth, semi-structured interviews served as the main instrument of data collection. In two separate interviews, participants first constructed arguments in defense of a certain standpoint in the context of global warming, and then assessed and provided feedback on the arguments generated during the first interview by three other participants: One generated by a member of their peer group and arguments generated by one member of each of the other two groups. Data analyses indicated that all participants, including scientists, did not fare as well when strictly judged from the perspective of Toulmin's structural elements of argument. The findings point to a mismatch between empirically-derived conceptions of argument based in scientific practice and those derived from formal analytical frameworks often used by science educators.
Issue Date:2007
Description:182 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290161
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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