Perspective taking and synchronous argumentation for learning the day/night cycle

  • Baruch B. Schwarz
  • Yaron Schur
  • Haim Pensso
  • Naama Tayer
Article

Abstract

Changing practices in schools is a very complex endeavor. This paper is about new practices we prompted to foster collaboration and critical reasoning in science classrooms: the presentation of pictures representing different perspectives, small group synchronous argumentation, and moderation of synchronous argumentation. A CSCL tool helped in supporting synchronous argumentation through graphical representations of argumentative moves. We checked the viability of these practices in science classrooms. To do so, we investigated whether these practices led to conceptual learning, and undertook interactional analyses to study the behaviors of students and teachers. Thirty-two Grade 8 students participated in a series of activities on the day/night cycle. Learning was measured by the correctness of knowledge, the extent to which it was elaborated, the mental models that emerged from the explanations, the knowledge integration in explanations, and their simplicity. We showed that participants could learn the day/night cycle concept, as all measures of learning improved. For some students, it even led to conceptual change. However, the specific help provided by teachers during collective argumentation did not yield additional learning. The analysis of protocols of teacher-led collective argumentation indicated that although the teachers’ help was needed, some teachers had difficulties monitoring these synchronous discussions. We conclude that the next step of the design-research cycle should be devoted to (a) the development of new tools directed at helping teachers facilitate synchronous collective argumentation, and to (b) activities including teachers, designers, and researchers for elaborating new strategies to use these tools to improve the already positive learning outcomes from synchronous argumentation.

Keywords

Argumentation Inquiry based learning Conceptual learning CSCA tools Expansive learning 

References

  1. Andriessen, J. E. B. & Schwarz, B. B. (2009). Argumentative Design. In N. Muller-Mirza, & A. -N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.). Argumentation and Education – Theoretical Foundations and Practices (pp. 145–174). Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
  2. Arnseth, H. C., & Säljö, R. (2007). Making sense of epistemic categories. Analysing students’ use of categories of progressive inquiry in computer mediated collaborative activities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23, 425–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asterhan, C. S. C., & Schwarz, B. B. (2007). The effects of monological and dialogical argumentation on concept learning in evolutionary theory. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 626–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Asterhan, C. S. C., & Schwarz, B. B. (2009). Argumentation and explanation in conceptual change: Indications from protocol analyses of peer-to-peer dialog. Cognitive Science, 33, 374–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asterhan, C. S. C., & Schwarz, B. B. (2010). Online moderation of synchronous e-argumentation. The International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 5(3), 259–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnett, M., Yamagata-Lynch, L., Keating, T., Barab, S. A., & Hay, K. E. (2005). Using virtual reality computer models to support students understanding of astronomical concepts. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24, 333–356.Google Scholar
  7. Baxter, J. (1989). Children’s understanding of familiar astronomical events. International Journal of Science Education, 11, 502–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chinn, C. A., & Brewer, W. F. (1998). An empirical test of a taxonomy of responses to anomalous data in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(6), 623–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collins, H., & Pinch, T. (1994). The Golem: What everyone should know about science. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Collins, A., Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13, 15–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Driver, R., Newton, P., & Osborne, J. (2000). Establishing the norms of scientific argumentation in classrooms. Science Education, 84, 287–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dunbar, K. (1995). How scientists really reason: Scientific reasoning in real-world laboratories. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of insight (pp. 3265–395). Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  13. Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding. In Y. Engeström, R. Mettinen, & R. L. Punamäki (Eds.), Aspects of activity theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Erduran, S., Osborne, J. F., & Simon, S. (2004). Enhancing the quality of argument in school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 994–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hakkarainen, K., Paavola, S., & Lipponen, L. (2004). From communities of practice to innovative knowledge communities. Line: Lifelong Learning in Europe, 9(2), 74–83.Google Scholar
  16. Hakkarainen, K. (2010). Learning communities in the classroom. In K. Littleton, C. Wood, & J. K. Staarman (Eds.), International Handbook of Psychology in Education (pp. 177–225). Emerald.Google Scholar
  17. Howe, C. J., Tolmie, A., Duchak-Tanner, V., & Rattray, C. (2000). Hypothesis testing in science: group consensus and the acquisition of conceptual and procedural knowledge. Learning and Instruction, 10, 361–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kikas, E. (2004). Teachers’ conceptions and misconceptions concerning three natural phenomena. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 5, 432–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Linn, M., Davies, E. A., & Bell, P. (2004). Inquiry and technology. In M. C. Linn, E. A. Davis, & P. Bell (Eds.), Internet environments for science education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Longino, H. (1994). The fate of knowledge in social theories of science. In F. F. Schmitt (Ed.), Socializing epistemology: The social dimensions of knowledge (pp. 135–158). Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  22. McAlister, S., Ravenscroft, A., & Scanlon, E. (2004). Combining interaction and context design to support collaborative argumentation using a tool for synchronous CMC. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20(3), 194–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mortimer, E. F., & Scott, P. (2003). Meaning making in secondary science classrooms. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Nussbaum, J. (1985). The Earth as a cosmic body. In E. Guesne, A. Tiberghien, & R. Driver (Eds.), Children’s ideas in science. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Osborne, J., Erduran, S., & Simon, S. (2004). Enhancing the quality of argument in school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 994–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Piaget, J. (1977). The grasp of consciousness: Action and concept in the young child. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Rasmussen, I., & Ludvigsen, S. (2009). The Hedgehog and the fox: a discussion of the approaches to the analysis of ICT Reforms in teacher education of Larry Cuban and Yrjö Engeström. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 16(1), 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rasmussen, I. & Ludvigsen, S. (2010). Learning with computer tools and environments: A socio-cultural perspective. In K. Littleton, C. Wood, & J. K. Staarman (Eds.), International handbook of psychology in education (pp. 399–434). Emerald.Google Scholar
  29. Reiser, B. J., Tabak, I., Sandoval, W. A., Smith, B., Steinmuller, F., & Leone, T. J. (2001). BGuILE: Stategic and conceptual scaffolds for scientific inquiry in biology classrooms. In S. M. Carver, & D. Klahr (Eds.), Cognition and instruction: Twenty five years of progress. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Rummel, N., & Spada, H. (2005). Learning to collaborate: an instructional approach to promoting collaborative problem solving in computer-mediated settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14, 201–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rummel, N., Spada, H., & Hauser, S. (2009). Learning to collaborate while being scripted or by observing a model. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4, 69–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sandoval, W. A. (2003). Conceptual and epistemic aspects of students’ scientific explanations. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 12(1), 5–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sandoval, W. A., & Reiser, B. J. (2004). Explanation-driven inquiry: integrating conceptual and epistemic scaffolds for scientific inquiry. Science Education, 88, 345–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schoultz, J., Säljö, R., & Wyndhamn, J. (2001). Heavenly talk: Discourse, artifacts, and children’s understanding of elementary astronomy. Human Development, 44, 103–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schur, Y. (1998). Thinking journey to the moon. Jerusalem: Ma’alot. in Hebrew.Google Scholar
  36. Schur, Y. & Galili, I. (2008). A thinking journey: A new mode of teaching science. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. On line: http://www.springerlink.com/content/u8uhj156546p7072/.
  37. Schur, Y. & Kozulin, A. (2008). Cognitive aspects of science problem solving: two mediated learning experience based programs. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 7(2).Google Scholar
  38. Schur, Y., Skuy, M., Zietsman, A., & Fridjhon, P. (2002). A Thinking journey based on constructivism and mediated learning experience as a vehicle for teaching science to low functioning students and enhancing their cognitive skills. School Psychology International, 23(1), 36–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schwarz, B. B. (2008). Escalate: The white book. www.escalate.org.il.
  40. Schwarz, B. B. & Asterhan, C. S. C. (2010). E-moderation of synchronous discussions in educational settings: A nascent practice. To appear in the Journal of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
  41. Schwarz, B. B., & De Groot, R. (2007). Argumentation in a changing world. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2(2–3), 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schwarz, B. B. & De Groot, R. (2010). Breakdowns between teachers, educators and designers in elaborating new technologies as precursors of change in education to dialogic thinking. In S. Ludvigsen, A. Lund, & R. Säljö (Eds.), Learning Across Sites: New tools, infrastructures and practices (pp. 261–277). New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction Series. Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Schwarz, B. B., & Glassner, A. (2007). The role of floor control and of ontology in argumentative activities with discussion-based tools. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 3(4), 449–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schwarz, B. B., Asterhan, C. S. C. & Gil, J. (2009). Human guidance of synchronous e-discussions: The effects of different moderation scripts on peer argumentation. Proceedings of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference. University of Rhodes, Greece.Google Scholar
  45. Scott, P., Ametller, J., Mortimer, E., & Emberton, J. ((2010). Teaching and Learning disciplinary knowledge: developing the dialogic space for an answer when there isn’t even a question. In C. Howe & K. Littleton (Eds.), Educational dialogues: Understanding and promoting productive interaction (pp. 289–303). Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Stegmann, K., Weinberger, A., & Fischer, F. (2007). Facilitating argumentative knowledge construction with computer-supported collaboration scripts. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2, 421–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Suthers, D. D. (2003). Representational guidance for collaborative inquiry. In J. Andriessen, M. Baker, & D. Suthers (Eds.), Arguing to learn: Confronting cognitions in computer-supported collaborative learning environments (pp. 27–46). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  48. Trumper, R. (2001). A cross age study of senior high school students’ conceptions of basic astronomy concepts. Research in Science & Technological Education, 19, 97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. van Eemeren, F. H., Grootendorst, R., Henkenmans, F. S., Blair, J. A., Johnson, R. H., Krabb, E. C., et al. (1996). Fundamentals of argumentation theory: A handbook of historical background and contemporary developments. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  50. Vosniadou, S. A., & Brewer, W. F. (1994). Mental models of the day/night cycle. Cognitive Science, 18, 123–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vosniadou, S., Skopeliti, I., & Ikospentaki, K. (2004). Modes of knowing and ways of reasoning in elementary astronomy. Cognitive Development, 19, 203–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). Thinking and speech. N. Minick (Ed. and translator). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  53. Walton, D. (2006). Fundamentals of critical argumentation: Critical reasoning and argumentation. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Weinberger, A., Ertl, B., Fischer, F., & Mandl, H. (2005). Epistemic and social scripts in computer supported collaborative learning. Instructional Science, 33, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yair, Y., Schur, Y., & Mintz, R. (2003). A Thinking Journey to the solar system using scientific visualization technologies. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 12(1), 43–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baruch B. Schwarz
    • 1
  • Yaron Schur
    • 1
  • Haim Pensso
    • 1
  • Naama Tayer
    • 1
  1. 1.The School of EducationThe Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations