Investigating pre-service science teachers' quality of written argumentations about socio-scientific issues in relation to epistemic beliefs and argumentativeness

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2010
İşbilir, Erdinç
The purpose of this study was to investigate pre-service science teachers’ (PST) quality of written argumentations about socio-scientific issues in an online discussion environment in relation to their epistemic beliefs and argumentativeness. A total of 30 pre-service elementary science teachers who will teach elementary school science from 6th through 8th grade students after graduation voluntarily participated in this study. The sample was chosen by purposive and convenience sampling from the PSTs registered for the course named “Science, Technology, and Society” in the fall semester of 2009-2010 academic year at a public university in Ankara. In this study, the PSTs participated in an online discussion environment in which climate change, nuclear power, genetically modified foods, and human genome project issues were discussed for a total of four week period. The major data of this study were collected through the Epistemic Beliefs Questionnaire developed by Kuhn, Cheney and Weinstock (2000) and the Argumentativeness Scale by Infante and Rancer (1982). For the analysis of the quality of argumentations, an adapted version of Sadler and Fowler’s (2006) argumentation analysis framework was employed. The results of the study illustrated that the PSTs frequently generated high quality argumentations for each socio-scientific issue which was interpreted as a positive indication that the online discussion environment was effective in promoting students’ argumentation. In addition, the results also showed that argumentation quality levels varied across socio-scientific issues. Another result of this study was that the PSTs’ argumentation qualities were higher for multiplist and evaluativist levels. Finally, the correlation results between argumentativeness and argumentation quality levels did not reveal a significant correlation between these variables. However, there was a significant correlation between epistemic belief levels and argumentativeness.

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Citation Formats
E. İşbilir, “Investigating pre-service science teachers’ quality of written argumentations about socio-scientific issues in relation to epistemic beliefs and argumentativeness,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.