Disagreement in “Ordinary” Teaching Interactions: A Study of Argumentation in a Science Classroom

  • Ana Paula Souto-Silva
  • Danusa Munford
Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 1)


In this study, we examined discursive interactions in a science classroom, in order to learn about a novice teacher’s practices in argumentative contexts. We intend to contribute to research on processes involved in supporting science learning through argumentation. A naturalistic design utilizing qualitative research methods and interactional ethnography was employed to investigate two research questions: In what aspects does argumentation differ in various instructional contexts of a science classroom? How does a science teacher use language in different argumentative contexts in the classroom? The main data sources were as follows: participant observation conducted over 8 months, field notes, audio and video recordings of science lessons, and three interviews with the teacher. Pragma-Dialectical theory of argumentation was adopted to analyze data. The results show differences in argumentation among events from various instructional contexts in relation to the following: relationships among the differences of opinion, nature of the differences of opinion, structure of the argumentation, roles of participants, and whether argumentation components were made explicit or were implicit during discursive interactions. The teacher’s language use varied in two aspects: how he raised questions and how he made explicit/implicit his points of view. Teacher’s discursive strategies were influenced by his goals as well as by relationships between students’ knowledge and scientific school knowledge.


Science Education Solid Waste Prospective Teacher Science Classroom Curricular Material 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Paula Souto-Silva
    • 1
  • Danusa Munford
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de EducaçãoUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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