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Title: Simulations as practice‐based spaces to support elementary teachers in learning how to facilitate argumentation‐focused science discussions
Abstract

In order to deepen students' understanding of natural phenomenon and how scientific knowledge is constructed, it is critical that science teachers learn how to engage students in productive scientific argumentation. Simulations for teachers are one possible solution to providing practice‐based spaces where novices can approximate the work of facilitating argumentation‐focused science discussions. This study's purpose is to examine how preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) engage in this ambitious teaching practice within an online simulated classroom composed of five upper elementary student avatars. In this study, which is part of a larger research project, we developed and used four performance tasks to provide opportunities for PSETs to practice facilitating argumentation‐focused science discussions within a simulated classroom. The student avatars were controlled on the backend by a human‐in‐the‐loop who was trained to respond to the teachers' prompts in real time using predesigned student thinking profiles and specific technology, such as voice modulation software. We used analysis of transcripts from the PSETs' video‐recorded discussions to examine how the PSETs engaged the student avatars in scientific argumentation, with particular attention to the teaching moves that supported argument construction and argument critique. We also used survey and interview data to examine how the PSETs viewed the usefulness of these simulation‐based tools to support their learning. Findings show that there was variability in the extent to which the PSETs engaged the student avatars in argument construction and argument critique and the teaching moves that the PSETs used to do so. Results also indicated that PSETs strongly perceive the value of using such tools within teacher education. Implications for the potential of simulations to provide insights into novices' ability to engage students in scientific argumentation and to support them in learning in and from their practice, including how to productively integrate these tools in teacher education, are discussed.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10379371
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume:
57
Issue:
9
ISSN:
0022-4308
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1356-1399
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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