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Chapter 11

Argumentation in Physical Chemistry

Recent reform efforts in science education have included an emphasis on practices such as argumentation. Facilitating argumentation has been shown to improve student learning of content knowledge as well as improved critical thinking and other transferable skills, but instructors must explicitly model and support argumentation practices in order for students to use them. Across the arc of our research, we combined argumentation analysis with methodological frameworks from chemistry, the chemical thinking learning progression, and Johnstone's triangle, to provide further insight into the nature of argumentation in physical chemistry classrooms. Additionally, we adapted a framework from undergraduate mathematics education research to reveal discursive moves that faculty make to facilitate argumentation. Combining these methodological approaches was a novel way to generate greater depth in our findings, providing rich insights to inform the design and facilitation of active learning pedagogies that support student argumentation. We believe that the combination of more than one analytical framework can serve as a model for other researchers and inspire new research vistas.

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15 Feb 2019
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