Introducing High School Biology Students to Argumentation About Socioscientific Issues
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The purpose of this research was to determine whether teaching argumentation to high school biology students improved their argumentation skills, informal reasoning, and genetics understanding. Using a quasi-experiment with mixed methods of data collection, five teachers participated in professional learning on argumentation and socioscientific issues and then explicitly taught argumentation skills in a genetics context. Using a written survey, the experimental group of students (n = 133) improved significantly more in their argumentation skills (p < .001), ability to use rational informal reasoning (p < .001), and genetics understanding (p < .001) than the control group of students (n = 160) who studied the same genetics topic without being taught argumentation skills.
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