Argumentation to foster pre-service science teachers’ knowledge, competency, and attitude on the domains of chemical literacy of acids and bases
Argumentative practices have the potential to contribute to scientific literacy. However, these practices are not widely incorporated in science classrooms and so their effect on the domains of literacy is still not revealed. Therefore, this study proposes to reveal the effect of argumentation on the three domains of chemical literacy related to the concepts of acids and bases. The study participants comprised 29 freshman pre-service science teachers’ enrolled in a General Chemistry-II course. Argumentation practices were implemented over six weeks. Open-ended contextual chemical literacy items were developed to assess the differences in the chemical literacy domains and the items were administered before and right after the intervention. The responses to the chemical literacy items were scored with a rubric and three scores were calculated: knowledge, competency, and attitudes. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare the mean scores. All the intervention sessions were video recorded, and three of them were analyzed according to three criteria: the presence of arguments, the frequency of arguments, and the levels of the arguments. The findings revealed that the argumentation practices contributed to the pre-service teachers’ chemical literacy skills, mostly to their knowledge and competencies when compared to their attitudes. Moreover, distinct differences in the quality of argumentation levels were observed over the six weeks.