Exploring Small Group Argumentation Shown in Designing an Experiment: Focusing on Students' Epistemic Goals and Epistemic Considerations for Activities

실험 설계에서 나타난 소집단 논변활동 탐색: 활동에 대한 인식적 목표와 인식적 이해를 중심으로

  • Received : 2015.11.26
  • Accepted : 2016.02.17
  • Published : 2016.02.29


The purpose of this study is to explore students' epistemic goals and considerations in designing an experiment task and to investigate how a shift in the students' epistemology affected their argumentation. Four 7th grade students were selected as a focus group. According to the results, when they designed their own experiment, their epistemic goal was 'scientific sense-making' and their epistemic considerations - the perception of the nature of the knowledge product was 'this experiment should explain how something happened', the perception of the justification was 'we need to use our interpretation of the data' and the perception of the audience was 'constructor' - contributed to designing their experiment actively. When students tried to select one argument, their epistemic goal shifted to 'winning a debate', showing 'my experiment is better than the others' with the perception of the audience, 'competitor'. Consequently, students only deprecated the limits of different experiment so that they did not explore the meaning of each experiment design deeply. Eventually, student A's experiment design was selected due to time restrictions. When they elaborated upon their result, their epistemic goal shifted to 'scientific sensemaking', reviewing 'how this experiment design is scientifically valid' through scientific justification - we need justification to make members accept it - acting as 'cooperator'. Consequently, all members engaged in a productive argumentation that led to the development of the group result. This study lays the foundation for future work on understanding students' epistemic goals and considerations to prompt productive argumentation in science classrooms.


Supported by : 한국연구재단


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