Research in Science Education

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 2009–2034

Introducing Pre-university Students to Primary Scientific Literature Through Argumentation Analysis

  • Marcel Koeneman
  • Martin Goedhart
  • Miriam Ossevoort
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11165-012-9341-y

Cite this article as:
Koeneman, M., Goedhart, M. & Ossevoort, M. Res Sci Educ (2013) 43: 2009. doi:10.1007/s11165-012-9341-y

Abstract

Primary scientific literature is one of the most important means of communication in science, written for peers in the scientific community. Primary literature provides an authentic context for showing students how scientists support their claims. Several teaching strategies have been proposed using (adapted) scientific publications, some for secondary education, but none of these strategies focused specifically on scientific argumentation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a strategy for teaching pre-university students to read unadapted primary scientific literature, translated into students’ native language, based on a new argumentation analysis framework. This framework encompasses seven types of argumentative elements: motive, objective, main conclusion, implication, support, counterargument and refutation. During the intervention, students studied two research articles. We monitored students’ reading comprehension and their opinion on the articles and activities. After the intervention, we measured students’ ability to identify the argumentative elements in a third unadapted and translated research article. The presented framework enabled students to analyse the article by identifying the motive, objective, main conclusion and implication and part of the supports. Students stated that they found these activities useful. Most students understood the text on paragraph level and were able to read the article with some help for its vocabulary. We suggest that primary scientific literature has the potential to show students important aspects of the scientific process and to learn scientific vocabulary in an authentic context.

Keywords

Primary literature Scientific literacy Science education Pre-university Argumentation analysis Authentic practice 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel Koeneman
    • 1
  • Martin Goedhart
    • 1
  • Miriam Ossevoort
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and Natural SciencesUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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