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The Influence of Argumentative Discourse on Pre-Service Teachers’ Alternative Conceptions of Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

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dc.contributor.advisor Smith-Walters, Cindi
dc.contributor.advisor Barlow, Angela T.
dc.contributor.author Barker, Heather
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-13T18:00:56Z
dc.date.available 2019-06-13T18:00:56Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/xmlui/handle/mtsu/5901
dc.description.abstract Mediocre science achievement and poor STEM graduation rates have prompted educators to reexamine their traditional focus on factual memorization and seek more effective instructional strategies. One such reform-oriented instructional practice is argumentative discourse. Argumentative discourse is student-driven, reasoned argumentation to promote deliberation, inquiry, and learning about scientific concepts. This qualitative multiple–embedded case study examined the impact of argumentative discourse-based lessons on pre-service teachers’ alternative conceptions about the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Participants engaged in small group tasks and discussions to choose claims, develop arguments, and defend those arguments based on provided evidence. Three groups of pre-service teachers were examined in detail. These groups had been formed based on the participants’ epistemic beliefs about science, with one group having primarily constructivist beliefs, one with moderate beliefs, and one with beliefs that were more traditional. Conceptual changes were analyzed at the individual level and at the collective group level. Most participants’ individual alternative conceptions were noticeably reduced, while their accurate conceptual knowledge increased. Those with more constructivist epistemic beliefs experienced marginally better conceptual change results. The results of this study add to the literature regarding argumentative discourse’s potential to effect lasting conceptual change in pre-service teachers learning science content.
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University
dc.subject Education
dc.subject Teacher education
dc.subject Science education
dc.title The Influence of Argumentative Discourse on Pre-Service Teachers’ Alternative Conceptions of Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
dc.date.updated 2019-06-13T18:00:57Z
dc.language.rfc3066 en
dc.contributor.committeemember Butler, Kyle
dc.contributor.committeemember Mangione, Katherine
dc.contributor.committeemember Wright, Stephen
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University
dc.description.degree Ph.D.
dc.contributor.department Education en_US


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