The Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon article discusses the difference between explanation and argumentation, and how both play a significant role in the development of scientific knowledge in students. They concisely claim that explanation and argumentation are interdependent, and that “In response to questions, explanations are developed through analyses of data from investigations and refined through argumentation” (Reiser 9). Essentially, explanation involves accounting for the data that has been collected in a scientific experiment. Argumentation is questioning, defending, and refuting explanations of scientific models. The article explains that these processes are key to the scientific process that is used by the scientific community.
The Sampson and Gleim article unpacks the instructional method of Argument-Driven Inquiry. This method of scientific inquiry involves identifying the topic, gathering experimental data, forming an argument with explanation and evidence, defending and editing the argument with peers, a written report on the argument, peer review, revision, and reflective discussion. This method has several goals, including the goal to integrate multiple subjects, such as reading and writing, in with science, and to acclimate students to the scientific argument processes that real sciences go through every day.
Both of these articles explain that argumentation is an essential part of the process of scientific inquiry, and that this process should be taught to students from an early age. They stress that clear explanation, using examples and sound reasoning, is key to defending an argument, and that peer critiquing can make a final form argument even better. This promotes the underlying message to students that being wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that being offered opportunities for improvement is a good thing. This theme is repeated in both of the articles, and I am of the opinion that it is one of the most underrated and yet most important concept in science that is not currently being taught in mainstream classrooms. In a current culture that views wrong answers as a permanent, shameful failure, the reality of the scientific process a series of edits, critiques, and more edits is hidden beneath the sparkling world of final-form textbook experimental results. This is an unhealthy approach to science education, not to mention an unrealistic one.