This exploratory proposal is researching and developing professional learning activities to help high school teachers use available and emerging social media to teach scientific argumentation. The project responds to the growing emphasis on scientific argumentation in new standards.
This project is producing prototype professional development materials to enhance the capacity of middle school teachers to increase students' science knowledge and argumentation skills. The project is also investigating the level of teacher implementation of the professional development materials and documenting the development of scientific argumentation skills of the students. Research data on cognitive strategy, instructional procedures, cooperative discussion, writing protocols and the effectiveness of the professional development support material will be collected.
This project develops a series of interactive on-line games and investigates the effect these games have on increasing middle school science students' and teachers' knowledge and skills of scientific argumentation. There are four areas of argumentation addressed by the games: (1) understanding a claim, (2) judging the evidence about a claim based on type and quality (objectivity, reliability or validity), (3) analyzing the reasoning applied to the claim, and (4) evaluating the claim.