Discipline: Science & Mathematics Education
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Hector N. Torres - Bethune-Cookman University
Co-Author(s): Dr. Raphael D. Isokpehi, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL
Investigating the Effects of Socioscientific Argumentation Development on Student Academic Success This Broadening Participation Research (BPR) in STEM Education project connected to a Targeted Infusion Project at Bethune-Cookman University titled “Developing Quantitative Expertise in the Undergraduate Biology Curriculum (QEUBiC) [1434186 (PI – Isokpehi RD; Co-PIs –Wollenberg Valero KC; Congdon E. 08/15/2014 – 07/31/2018). The QEUBiC curriculum enhancement framework is for biology students to develop the scientific literacy to provide biology-based solutions to societal issues of food, energy, health and environment in an era of Big Data challenges. Thus, the QEUBiC curriculum is addressing the importance of connecting science to matters of social importance also termed Socioscientific Issues. Scientific Literacy entails the ability to make informed decisions, analyze, synthesize and evaluate varied sources of data and information, use moral reasoning to attend sensibly to ethical issues, and understand the complexity of connections inherent in socioscientific issues. The Broadening Participation Research (BPR) project expands this scientific literacy research at Bethune-Cookman University beyond the biology curriculum. The Socioscientific Issues (SSI) framework for scientific literacy development require students to engage in dialogue, discussion, debate and argumentation. Therefore the major goal of this Broadening Participation Research (BPR) in STEM Education project entitled “Investigating the Effects of Socioscientific Argumentation Development on Student Academic Success” is to investigate how to produce Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates with argumentation expertise to address ill-structured problems that require scientific, evidence-based reasoning to inform decisions. Argumentation (argumentative discourse) in scientific topics is defined as the connection between claims and data through justifications or the evaluation of knowledge claims in light of evidence, either empirical or theoretical. Argumentation is now recognized as a central practice of science and thus a crucial aspect of instruction that aims to help students develop a robust understanding of science. A key reason for this research goal is that argumentation will empower students from distinguishing claims made on scientific grounds from those based solely on tradition and authority. Additionally “Argumentation … is the chief cognitive activity by which a democracy, a field of study, a corporation, or a committee functions … And it is vitally important that high school and college students learn both to argue well and to critique the arguments of other. Results of assessment of argumentation quality and plans for instructional intervention will be presented.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation HBCU-UP 1623371, 1434186.
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,