2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5365 Scientific Argument/Critical Think

Case studies are real-life stories or scenarios used as a tool for analysis and discussion. Case studies can be used to deepen scientific understanding, improve critical-thinking skills, and engage students in applying their learning to real-world problems. This real-life connection engages students’ personal interest in learning science concepts and provides context for otherwise abstract science concepts thereby increasing students’ knowledge and retention. Argumentation involves generating and justifying claims based on evidence. By providing explanations based on evidence, students deepen their understanding of science content and become more critical consumers of information. Because of these benefits, scientific argumentation has emerged as both a significant goal and method for science education. Using case studies and argumentation to engage students in thoughtful reasoning and debate is an effective way to teach not only academic content, but also process skills and critical thinking while allowing students to make connections between the classroom and everyday life.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are the most recent educational standards. Both the NGSS and the CCSS place special emphasis on argumentation. The NGSS focus on developing students' deeper understanding of the major crosscutting concepts and practices of science and engineering. These important practices include “engaging in argument from evidence.” The CCSS emphasize formulating claims and arguments with supporting evidence across all subject areas and specifically outline the amount and kind of evidence students need to include at each grade level. With the emphasis on argumentation skills within the current standards, teachers need the ability to engage students in using evidence to make and defend knowledge claims.

This course includes numerous case studies that address a variety of science learning objectives. In this course, teachers will learn how to use case studies to engage students in learning science content while improving their critical-thinking skills. This course also includes many strategies for scaffolding argumentation in the classroom, developing questioning techniques, and evaluating student work. By the end of the course, teachers will be able to incorporate case studies and argumentation into science instruction in a way that teaches critical thinking and deepens scientific understanding.