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  • Work package 7 Argumentation for teacher education in science
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Description of work

A useful powerpoint describing WP7 is available here.

WP7 will be led by Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), in association  with the University of Bristol and will provide resources and  strategies to help teachers to create learning environments for argumentation and the learning of  discursive practices in science.  It will extend the professional development agendas  from other   innovative science education projects including Mind the Gap.  WP7 will disseminate training resources and classroom materials to support the teaching and learning of argumentation in  science classrooms and the development  of teachers' reasoning about the nature of scientific  knowledge. A professional development programme will be designed and implemented to promote  coherence and growth in teachers' skills in these aspects. Outcomes in terms of students'   argumentation skills will provide proof of the effectiveness of professional development  interventions.


1. We will use guidelines and design principles for the design of learning  environments to support  students' argumentation, which are coherent with the design principles for constructivist and  inquiry-based classrooms .

2. Key features in these guidelines are the evaluation of knowledge claims, and the  evaluation of  evidence, both of which affect student and teacher roles. Other relevant features are inquiry  perspectives in the curriculum, centred on authentic problems, and the dialogic communicative  approach.

3. The resources consist of teaching sequences and tasks for use in teacher education, to support  the construction of conceptual tools and the development of argumentation competencies; and in  the classroom in primary, middle and  secondary school.

4. The tasks require students and student teachers to demonstrate the appropriation of discursive  practices of science, e.g. writing reports about laboratory inquiry tasks  or about decision-making, including articulating written arguments; presenting oral summaries of the tasks and discussing  them with their peers (persuasive dimension of argumentation).

5. To support dialogic communicative approaches in the classroom, WP7 focuses on learning  environments and tasks supporting deep-reasoning questions, on the influence of students'  'answering words' on classroom discourse and to the role of  questioning in argumentation, e.g.  generating deep-reasoning questions; questioning claims on the basis of available evidence;  students' spontaneous questions

Products from WP7 will consist of:

A report which will review the state of the art about argumentation in Europe, particularly in the countries involved in the project and to draw on published research to suggest lines of improvement. The report is intended for policymakers and other  stakeholders in education. (product 7.1)

A book chapter for the WP6 book on inquiry based methods, intended for teachers   Teaching sequence in Galician / Spanish for use both in initial and in in-service teacher education. (product 7.2a)

teaching sequence in English for use both in initial and in in-service teacher education (product 7.2b)

Two teaching sequences for use in schools including a pilot phase of  testing in  schools. (product 7.3)

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