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In this report, we adapt and extend a methodology for documenting the collective production of meaning in a classroom community. A cornerstone of the methodological approach that we develop is a close examination of classroom discourse. Our efforts to analyze the collective production of meaning by examining classroom interaction are compatible with the relatively recent emphasis in mathematics and science education research that focuses on how communities of learners establish ideas through discourse and inquiry. The methodological approach we take builds on and extends an approach from mathematics education that uses Toulmin’s argumentation model to document and analyze students’ conceptual progress. Our modification introduces a new criterion for empirically demonstrating when particular ways of reasoning become part of the normative practices of the community. An example from an undergraduate course in physical chemistry is used to illustrate the methodology.

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Correspondence to Chris Rasmussen.

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Cole, R., Becker, N., Towns, M. et al. ADAPTING A METHODOLOGY FROM MATHEMATICS EDUCATION RESEARCH TO CHEMISTRY EDUCATION RESEARCH: DOCUMENTING COLLECTIVE ACTIVITY. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 10, 193–211 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-011-9284-1

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  • classroom practice
  • collective activity
  • discourse
  • methodology
  • undergraduate chemistry
  • undergraduate mathematics