Electronic Science Notebooks and Argumentation: Analysis of Student Writing

Inquiry-based learning is a part of modern science education at all levels. The new science education standards framework has both emphasized the central role of inquiry and further defined the core competencies, such as making a claim and supporting it with evidence (NRC, 2011). This emphasis on argumentation arises not only out of its importance in science practice but also because students tend tostruggle with mastering it (McNeill, 2011), especially at the elementary level. However, when elementary students are provided with the appropriate scaffolds and supports, researchers report that they are able to engage in and develop the core elements of argumentation (Varelas et al., 2008).