Characteristics and functions of sixteen-year-old students’ collaborative deliberation when working with socioscientific inquiry assignments
In these student dialogues, deliberative aspects of argumentation in SSI inquiry are documented as different from strictly scientific argumentation. I suggest that deliberative argumentation is a complex alternation between reasoning patterns that relate to different activity layers. This understanding of deliberative argumentation emerged when analyzing students’ dialogues, developing the categories theme (theoria), inquiry (praxis) and inscribing (poeisis). Analyses are presented to account for this emerging understanding. The analyses utilize social functional linguistics (SFL), pragmatic conversation analysis, and rhetorical approaches to argumentation. What characterizes the students’ oral deliberation is an alternation between certain foci. Roberts’s (2011) use the terms theoria, praxis, and techne to characterize similar reasoning patterns in his Vision 1 and 2 of scientific literacy. I suggest that in civic deliberation all patterns of reasoning are necessary to handle SSI, whereas in strictly scientific argumentation, theoria is dominant. Such distinctions should also be considered when analyzing and developing instructional strategies.
Keywords: deliberation, argumentation analysis, socioscientific inquiry, scientific literacy, rhetoric, conversation, civic education
Published online: 29 October 2015
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