Tuesday, October 6, 2015

McMullen Memo 6

I thoroughly enjoyed the readings for this week because they provided such clear examples of how the ideas discussed can be implemented in our classrooms. The Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon paper discussed argumentation and explanation as interconnected practices and examples of how to implement them in the classroom. The Sampson and Gleim paper discusses how to implement “argument driven inquiry” in the classroom. This type of learning incorporates reading, writing, and discussion into the classroom, which has been shown to be more effective in engaging students in science.  Between these two papers, I felt like I gained some practical information on how to implement this in my own classroom.

Over the course of the semester, we have consistently discussed how science is not final form. By utilizing the ideas and techniques in these papers, we have some ways to begin to show our students that. When we provide a safe space for our students to be wrong, we open the door for students to critique one another’s ideas. This not only allows them to improve their argument, but also, gives them an idea of what the scientific community experiences when interpreting observations/results/data. This connection seems critical (to me at least) in students grasping the idea that scientific ideas are very rarely (if ever) absolutely 100% true with no room for questioning or improvement. If students can grasp this connection, then we can engage them in the material by encouraging them to think critically, ask questions, and challenge arguments.

One other topic that stood out to me along the same lines was the sample rubric in the Sampson and Gleim paper. We talked earlier this semester about a lack of peer feedback in science classrooms and why that was. The Sampson and Gleim paper really seemed to provide a clear example of how to integrate this in to the classroom. The idea of peer feedback also opens the door to conversations about the processes scientists have to go through for their research to be published. Students, hopefully, will understand that scientists have their arguments questioned and challenged all of the time because it strengthens the scientific community’s overall ideas as they strive to determine the best interpretation.

1 comment:

  1. Something that I love about the argument driven inquiry method is that it lends itself well to classrooms we might experience where we would be teaching both mainstream students and ELL students. Since teachers are encouraged to integrate practice using the English language into their lessons when they teach ELLs, this activity can be perfectly scaffolded to fit their needs of growing in English language skills while simultaneously helping the entire class improve their method for scientific inquiry.