Research in Science Education

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 67–90

When Scientific Knowledge, Daily Life Experience, Epistemological and Social Considerations Intersect: Students’ Argumentation in Group Discussions on a Socio-scientific Issue


DOI: 10.1007/s11165-007-9040-2

Cite this article as:
Albe, V. Res Sci Educ (2008) 38: 67. doi:10.1007/s11165-007-9040-2


Socio-scientific issues in class have been proposed in an effort to democratise science in society. A micro-ethnographic approach has been used to explore how students elaborate arguments on a socio-scientific controversy in the context of small group discussions. Several processes of group argumentation have been identified. Students’ arguments were elaborated from scientific data, common ideas and epistemological and strategic considerations. Students’ social interactions influenced the patterns of argumentation elaborated within the group discussions. Implications of this study for the teaching of socio-scientific issues in class are discussed.


Socio-scientific issueSocial interactionsGroup discussions

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toulouse EducAgroENFACastanet TolosanFrance