Purpose of talking Arguments in Science
The way we talk is a powerful representation of the way we think. Indeed, talking plays a key role in our brain’s acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information. It follows that if we want our students to think critically in the science classroom, we need to encourage them to talk critically as well. This means creating learning environments that encourage students to interactively participate in collective meaning making. More specifically, when teachers orchestrate classrooms where students feel safe to talk through their thinking and respectfully critique the thinking of others, powerful learning gains can occur. Furthermore, when students have repeated opportunities to verbally justify their tentative answers to scientific questions, it creates a classroom culture that values the importance of backing ideas up with evidence. In a similar vein, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment that promotes verbal argumentation thereby facilitates an enculturation of both academic and social practices that benefits students both inside and outside the science classroom. Talk can be a powerful instrument of intellectual and social capital – it conveys powerful messages about who we are and how we think. By empowering learners to talk in a way that is imbued with the critical and evidentiary values of science, we thereby put our students in a better position to succeed in a world that is increasingly inundated with technology and (often conflicting) information.
Summary of talking assessments
Description of Teaching Strategy
Series on choosing a claim and developing reasoning and evidence.