Research in Science Education

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1433–1459 | Cite as

Beyond “They Cited the Text”: Middle School Students and Teachers’ Written Critiques of Scientific Conclusions

  • Susan De La PazEmail author
  • Daniel M. Levin

In this study, we explore how 151 linguistically diverse middle school students, four science teachers who taught the students, and four science education researchers critiqued scientific conclusions in writing. To do this, we used an existing assessment that prompted the critiques of hypothetical conclusions about the effects of an invasive species on a marsh as a way of understanding epistemological norms of students as compared to adults whose backgrounds and beliefs and goals for teaching science differed. Our results appear to extend prior work by comparing the teachers of the students who we are studying to science education researchers, suggesting communities of teachers have their own norms for critiquing conclusions, which may influence their students. We also found clear differences in how students with varying linguistic backgrounds critiqued the conclusions, and tentative differences between their teachers and education researchers. Limitations in sample size...


Argumentation Argument Written analysis Middle school students Teachers Science education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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