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Title: Elementary teachers’ videos of instruction: Using argumentation in teaching mathematics, science, and coding
A collaborative team of STEM educators engaged teachers in sharing videos of their instruction focused on using argumentation and coding across disciplines. Attendees will extend their understandings of argumentation and consider how teacher-selected videos provide insight into teachers’ thinking  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1741910
NSF-PAR ID:
10250047
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
wenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
Page Range / eLocation ID:
37
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. The Next Generation Science Standards [1] recognized evidence-based argumentation as one of the essential skills for students to develop throughout their science and engineering education. Argumentation focuses students on the need for quality evidence, which helps to develop their deep understanding of content [2]. Argumentation has been studied extensively, both in mathematics and science education but also to some extent in engineering education (see for example [3], [4], [5], [6]). After a thorough search of the literature, we found few studies that have considered how teachers support collective argumentation during engineering learning activities. The purpose of this program of research was to support teachers in viewing argumentation as an important way to promote critical thinking and to provide teachers with tools to implement argumentation in their lessons integrating coding into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (which we refer to as integrative STEM). We applied a framework developed for secondary mathematics [7] to understand how teachers support collective argumentation in integrative STEM lessons. This framework used Toulmin’s [8] conceptualization of argumentation, which includes three core components of arguments: a claim (or hypothesis) that is based on data (or evidence) accompanied by a warrant (or reasoning) that relates the data to the claim [9], [8]. To adapt the framework, video data were coded using previously established methods for analyzing argumentation [7]. In this paper, we consider how the framework can be applied to an elementary school teacher’s classroom interactions and present examples of how the teacher implements various questioning strategies to facilitate more productive argumentation and deeper student engagement. We aim to understand the nature of the teacher’s support for argumentation—contributions and actions from the teacher that prompt or respond to parts of arguments. In particular, we look at examples of how the teacher supports students to move beyond unstructured tinkering (e.g., trial-and-error) to think logically about coding and develop reasoning for the choices that they make in programming. We also look at the components of arguments that students provide, with and without teacher support. Through the use of the framework, we are able to articulate important aspects of collective argumentation that would otherwise be in the background. The framework gives both eyes to see and language to describe how teachers support collective argumentation in integrative STEM classrooms. 
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  2. Abstract

    For students to meaningfully engage in science practices, substantive changes need to occur to deeply entrenched instructional approaches, particularly those related to classroom discourse. Because teachers are critical in establishing how students are permitted to interact in the classroom, it is imperative to examine their role in fostering learning environments in which students carry out science practices. This study explores how teachers describe, or frame, expectations for classroom discussions pertaining to the science practice of argumentation. Specifically, we use the theoretical lens of a participation framework to examine how teachers emphasize particular actions and goals for their students' argumentation. Multiple‐case study methodology was used to explore the relationship between two middle school teachers' framing for argumentation, and their students' engagement in an argumentation discussion. Findings revealed that, through talk moves and physical actions, both teachers emphasized the importance of students driving the argumentation and interacting with peers, resulting in students engaging in various types of dialogic interactions. However, variation in the two teachers' language highlighted different purposes for students to do so. One teacher explained that through these interactions, students could learn from peers, which could result in each individual student revising their original argument. The other teacher articulated that by working with peers and sharing ideas, classroom members would develop a communal understanding. These distinct goals aligned with different patterns in students' argumentation discussion, particularly in relation to students building on each other's ideas, which occurred more frequently in the classroom focused on communal understanding. The findings suggest the need to continue supporting teachers in developing and using rich instructional strategies to help students with dialogic interactions related to argumentation. This work also sheds light on the importance of how teachers frame the goals for student engagement in this science practice.

     
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  3. Sacristán, A.I. ; Cortés-Zavala, J.C. ; Ruiz-Arias, P.M. (Ed.)
    Collective Argumentation Learning and Coding (CALC) is a project focused on providing teachers with strategies to engage students in collective argumentation in mathematics, science, and coding. Collective argumentation can be characterized by any instance where multiple people (teachers and students) work together to establish a claim and provide evidence to support it (Conner et al., 2014b). Collective argumentation is an effective approach for promoting critical and higher order thinking and supporting students’ ability to articulate and justify claims. The goal of the CALC project is to help elementary school teachers extend the use of collective argumentation from teaching mathematics and science to teaching coding. Doing so increases the probability that teachers will integrate coding in regular classroom instruction, making it accessible to all students. This project highlighted Gloria (pseudonym), a fourth-grade teacher from Cohort 1 because of the extent to which she went from fear of coding to fluent implementation. Initially, Gloria was comfortable engaging her students in argumentation, explaining they already used it in mathematics with Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI). However, she was “terrified” about learning to code because she didn’t view herself as proficient with technology. She was willing to overcome her fear of coding because she saw the value in providing her students with coding experiences that would help them develop the necessary skills for our increasingly technological society. In the course of three months, Gloria’s instruction progressed from using simple coding activities to more sophisticated coding platforms. This progression in her coding instruction paralleled the change in her personal feelings about coding as she moved from “terrified” to “comfortable with it”. 
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  4. This project, titled Collective Argumentation Learning and Coding (CALC), aims to use the principles of collective argumentation to teach coding through appropriate reasoning. Creating and critiquing arguments as part of a coding activity promotes a more structured approach rather than the trial-and-error coding activity commonly used by novice programmers. Teaching coding via collective argumentation allows teachers to use methods that are already in use in mathematics and science instruction to teach coding, thus increasing the probability that it will be taught in conjunction with mathematics and science as regular parts of classroom instruction rather than relegated to an after-school or enrichment activity for only some students. Specific objectives of the CALC project are to - increase the attention that coding is given in the elementary classrooms taught by our participating teachers, and -direct students away from informal approaches (e.g.trial-and-error) to develop code to the more formal, structured approach recommended for novice programmers. Our research activities investigate teachers’ understanding of argumentation using the CALC concept and how the implementation of the CALC concept helps students (grades 3-5) learn how to code. The CALC approach supports the learning of coding by providing teachers with a formal, structured means to a) trace the growth of students’ understanding, and misunderstanding, of ideas (i.e., coding) as they form, b) facilitate students’ use of evidence, not opinion, to select a solution among multiple solutions (i.e., different sequencing of the code), and c) help each student realize she/he, as well as others, is a legitimate participant (i.e., a programmer) in the activity of developing, assessing and implementing an idea (e.g., coding of a robot). This paper/presentation discussed the first phase of an on-going investigation and focuses on a prototype graduate-level course designed for and taught to practicing elementary school teachers. The discussion outlines how the course impacted the participating teachers content knowledge of coding and their belief that coding can be made an integral part of everyday lessons, not as an add-on activity. 
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