SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENTATION AND COOPERATIVE LEARNING: WHY SHOULD THEY BE COMBINED?
Asian Journal of Advances in Research,
Cooperative learning and scientific argumentation are two contemporary topics in educational literature. The claim made in this paper is that the two concepts support and fulfill each other. Cooperative learning takes place when students work in groups and share information based on alternative ways of thinking. Too often, however, the group discussion does not stimulate alternative views, and students too quickly fall into a common and narrow way of thinking, because of leading group dominance, and the guarding of given material (text book) influence. This is still cooperative learning, but of less value. The most valuable learning happens when students put forward multiple views based on their different background and personal theories, in addition to; the given materials and this enhances students challenge each other in real debates. In this way of learning, students act similar to scientists, historians, mathematicians and other academics, because all academic debates are based on argument about contrasting views. Debate about contrasting views, however, is also the fundamental idea in teaching based on scientific argumentation. The basis for the claim of the paper, accordingly, is that scientific argumentation, as a means (pedagogy), can be used to stimulate meaningful cooperative learning by encouraging contrasts and variation in students’ thinking. And the other way, that cooperative learning is a useful perspective that can help and guide teachers who want to use scientific argumentation in the teaching. The aim of the paper is therefore to combine the two concepts in a common rationale for science teaching using analytical review. The paper was first analyse cooperative learning and scientific argumentation in more details separately, and from these analyses conclude with similarities and differences in pedagogically and in nature of science to underlying rationales. Next, the paper was merging the two perspectives into a common rationale to guide science teaching.
- Alternative thinking
- cooperative learning
- scientific argumentation.
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