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The Place Where Languages Meet to Argue: A Contribution from an Analysis of the Brazilian National Curriculum

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Multilingual Education Yearbook 2021

Abstract

Argumentation has long been established by science education research as the language of sciences. While argumentation is central to science education, language curricula are also responsible for teaching argumentation. Therefore, there is a potential for an interdisciplinary approach to argumentation. Brazilian educational policies explicitly address argumentation under the idea of both integral education and interdisciplinarity. This work aimed at discussing how argumentation is conceived in the Brazilian National curriculum and how science teachers may act upon the curriculum and benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to teach argumentation as the process of constructing scientifically sound arguments. Our main findings are that there is a huge focus on argumentation in the Natural Sciences curriculum, that the curriculum focuses mainly on skills of construction of arguments and its parts, without addressing what arguments are and how to use language to argue. Arguments in Natural Sciences are supported by evidence, but there is no room for alternative conclusions from the same data set nor rhetorical aspects. The disciplines are not connected in the Brazilian main curricular document, contradicting the same policy that argues for integral and interdisciplinary education. Brazilian curriculum leaves for the teachers to figure out how to work argumentation connecting languages and Natural Sciences and may even hinder teachers’ work to reach interdisciplinarity.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We acknowledge the broader discussion concerning STEM education. This chapter does not participate directly in such discussion due to the particularities of the analysed context. Still, there are aspects of Brazilian educational policy that allow us to argue for the relevance of the analysis put forth in this chapter.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful for the scholarship of the second author provided by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (CAPES) and for the preliminary reviews by Maíra Batistoni e Silva.

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Correspondence to Renata de Paula Orofino .

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de Paula Orofino, R., Azevedo, N.H., Scarpa, D.L. (2021). The Place Where Languages Meet to Argue: A Contribution from an Analysis of the Brazilian National Curriculum. In: Essien, A.A., Msimanga, A. (eds) Multilingual Education Yearbook 2021. Multilingual Education Yearbook. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-72009-4_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-72009-4_12

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-72008-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-72009-4

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