The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of an intervention on teaching science as argument within a science methods course on elementary preservice teachers' (PSTs') (a) understandings of the nature of science (NOS), (b) knowledge about argumentation, (c) complexity of their written explanations, and (d) ability to incorporate components of the framework for teaching science as argument to support students' literacy and science learning. This mixed-methods study utilized an embedded quasi-experimental design with a treatment (n = 20) and control group (n = 25). The treatment group instructor, who completed an eight-week professional development course, implemented the intervention protocol across a 12-week period. Throughout the intervention, emphasis was placed on three key components of teaching science as argument (i.e., argument structure, public reasoning, and the language of science). The control group instructor, who did not partake in any professional learning activities, implemented business-as-usual instruction. Results from a repeated measures MANOVA revealed that, although the intervention did not have a significant impact on PSTs' knowledge of argumentation, PSTs who received the intervention did demonstrate a significant increase in their understanding of the NOS and in the complexity of their written explanations, as compared to PSTs who did not receive the intervention. Furthermore, analysis of PSTs' written lesson plans revealed several themes (i.e., opportunities for students to collect and analyze data, use of scaffolds for helping students construct scientific explanations, emphasis on the use of text to support scientific inquiry, and attention to developing students' science vocabulary) consistent with the framework for teaching science as argument. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence illustrating the effectiveness of intentionally designed teacher preparation experiences for developing PSTs' knowledge, beliefs, and practices for supporting students' engagement in scientific explanation and argument.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Reading Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Grysko, Rebeca, "Using Argument as a Bridge Between Literacy and Science: An Intervention Study in a Science Methods Course for Elementary Preservice Teachers" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6495.