About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7597-7606
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS' ARGUMENTATION ABOUT A SOCIO-SCIENTIFIC ISSUE THROUGH AN INQUIRY ACTIVITY USING A PHYSICAL MODEL

Y. Nam1, Y.C. Chen2

1The College at Brockport (UNITED STATES)
2Arizona State University (UNITED STATES)
Socialscientific issues (SSI) with conceptual or technological ties to science have captured the national spotlight during the recent past (Sadler, 2004). The use of SSI has been advocated by several researchers to improve student scientific literacy, argumentative skills, and critical thinking (e.g. Sadler, 2005; Sadler et al, 2005; Zeidler et al, 2005). However, a recent study reported that students who engaged in SSI activities usually focused on realizing moral, ethical, and political considerations associated with the application of science knowledge rather than argument for constructing an understanding of scientific principles or reasoning practices for content (Cavagnetto, 2010).

In this study, we provided a SSI associated with inquiry activity with physical model for secondary preservice science teachers and investigate how the model based inquiry (MBI) activity promotes the teachers argumentative practice around the given SSI, dam removal. The physical model gave the teachers a real context that they could test their hypothesis about the consequences of the dam removal and concisely predicted how the dam removal would affect sediment flow on the river by manipulating three variables; water flow, amount of sediment , and speed of dam removal.

This study utilized a general qualitative research method grounded in a constructivist epistemology (Merriam, 1998) Twenty secondary preservice science teachers were participated in this study. The preservice teachers were in their first science method course in a graduate school.The main data source for this study was audiotape of small group discussions using the dam removal debate activity. The instructor of the science method course assigned five different roles to each teacher in a group for the debate.

To strengthen the interpretation and the consistency of qualitative coding patterns, two different analytical approaches were used:
(a) the constant comparative method
(b) the enumerative approach. All audiotapes related to group discussion were coded by using a coding scheme, developed by the authors.

The results show that, before the MBI activity, the group argumentation went to a very clear direction structure to find the group agreement of removing the dam. They were sharing the information and learned about bad environmental impact due to the dam. They seems like could not find any good reason to keep the dam, like "we do not need to keep the dam, it is not good for environment, it makes sense!". After the modeling, the group discussion was more deliberate by arguing the reliability of scientific method to predict the consequences of dam removal, like" wait a minute, can we really rely on the scientific method (modeling) to predict the consequences of the dam removal?" In doing so, they were specifically discussing more about other variables they did not mentioned before the modeling, such as snow pack, geographic characteristics of the valley.

They also ask many questions about the scientific modeling made by scientist to predict the sediment movement after the dam removal. the model based inquiry affected the preservice teachers’ argumentative practice by changing the perspective of argumentation from sharing information and elaborating their idea to make decision of dam removal to the perspective of making justification about considering more variables that affect sedimentation movement after dam removal and scientific model reliability to predict the consequences of dam removal.
@InProceedings{NAM2014PRE,
author = {Nam, Y. and Chen, Y.C.},
title = {PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS' ARGUMENTATION ABOUT A SOCIO-SCIENTIFIC ISSUE THROUGH AN INQUIRY ACTIVITY USING A PHYSICAL MODEL},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {7597-7606}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Nam AU - Y.C. Chen
TI - PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS' ARGUMENTATION ABOUT A SOCIO-SCIENTIFIC ISSUE THROUGH AN INQUIRY ACTIVITY USING A PHYSICAL MODEL
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 7597
EP - 7606
ER -
Y. Nam, Y.C. Chen (2014) PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS' ARGUMENTATION ABOUT A SOCIO-SCIENTIFIC ISSUE THROUGH AN INQUIRY ACTIVITY USING A PHYSICAL MODEL, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 7597-7606.
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