The effects of scientific argumentation on student attitudes and understanding of a controversial topic
Combs, Kristin Leigh
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This study implemented scientific argumentation as a learning tool in a science classroom to determine if it would change student opinions about a controversial topic and increase student learning about the topic. Scientific argumentation was introduced in a seventh-grade life science classroom in Idaho on the topic of wolf management. Students were responsible for conducting research about the topic and learning about both sides and then participating in a large group argument and a small group argument about wolf management in Idaho. The study found that student opinions changed to more pro-wolf or became more neutral as a result of the argumentation and that student learning of the topic also increased.