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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(12), 1618-1628
DOI: 10.12691/EDUCATION-3-12-20
Original Research

Applying Argumentation Approach in STEM Education: A Case Study of the European Student Parliaments Project in Greece

Zacharoula Smyrnaiou1, , Evangelia Petropoulou1 and Menelaos Sotiriou2

1Department of Pedagogy, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

2Science View, Athens, Greece

Pub. Date: December 08, 2015

Cite this paper

Zacharoula Smyrnaiou, Evangelia Petropoulou and Menelaos Sotiriou. Applying Argumentation Approach in STEM Education: A Case Study of the European Student Parliaments Project in Greece. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(12):1618-1628. doi: 10.12691/EDUCATION-3-12-20

Abstract

Although, worldwide, it is claimed a pressing need in ensuring that students are adequately equipped with the right skills to tackle the serious challenges that lay before them, there seems to be a failure in the empirical implementation of the national curricula to meet this goal. STEM courses are provided to students in the form of an authoritative discourse that leaves no room for students’ development of critical, creative, problem-solving and reflective analytical skills. In this research study we explore the argumentation approach and its implementation in an authentic scientific inquiry context as a way of enhancing students’ skills and promoting their construction of knowledge. Towards this aim, we investigate the case study of the European Student Parliaments project in Greece which sets a collaborative learning environment for the implementation of the argumentation approach. This paper will discuss findings from the implementation of the project and elaborate on the required conditions for its realization and efficiency in enabling students to become engaged in the negotiation of authentic scientific issues/problems by providing and sharing multiple alternative perspectives for their solution. Towards our research aims we have registered students’ scientific arguments and we provide findings from the questionnaire that was used as a research tool to identify the efficiency and impact of the approach in enhancing students’ knowledge construction and shaping their attitude towards STEM courses. The research findings have given us an insight into the significance of having students engaged in collectives in meaningful challenges that address authentic issues relevant to their lives. The implementation of collaborative discourse involving arguing from evidence, following the authentic scientific inquiry process, can enhance students’ acquisition of life-long skills and construction of scientific knowledge and meaning generation and motivate them to further engage in the negotiation of scientific issues.

Keywords

argumentation approach, challenge-based learning, collaborative discourse, inquiry process

Copyright

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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