Impact of claim, evidence, reasoning instruction in the English classroom on argumentative writing in science and across the curriculum

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


Engaging in argumentation from evidence is a critical skill for participation as productive citizens in the 21st century enabling us to access the evidence in the world around us to make well-reasoned decisions about our lives, and the future of our country and world. The purpose of this study was to improve written explanations in the science classroom and other content areas by engaging the students' reasoning capabilities and improving student confidence in answering short answer questions. Instruction included introduction of the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) framework in the English language arts classroom to promotes mastery of argumentative writing in the science classroom and other content areas through the use of graphic organizers and accessible non-content-based lessons. To assess the impact of the instructional treatment, student writing samples were collected during traditional instruction pre, and post-treatment and evaluated by rubric as measurement of skill growth. Pre and post-treatment, students were asked interview questions and given a self-confidence survey to determine student confidence, attitudes, and motivation regarding writing short answer explanations. The results indicated that instruction with the CER framework in the English classroom significantly impacted the frequency of writing well-reasoned arguments in science and other subject areas while maintaining student confidence in writing.




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