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Argumentation enables students to engage in real world scientific practices by rationalizing claims grounded in supporting evidence. Student engagement in scientific argumentation activates the negotiation process by which students develop and defend evidence-based claims. Little is known, however, on the intricate process and potential patterns of negotiation between students during scientific argumentation. The present study seeks to fill this gap by exploring how a group of university science education students negotiated when evaluating the relationship between lines of evidence and alternative explanatory models of a phenomena (i.e., climate change). This research, theoretically grounded in social constructionism, used Halliday's model of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) within a discourse analysis framework. The authors analyzed transcripts of student conversations during a model-evidence link activity to gain insights into patterns of negotiation. An interpersonal analysis centering on mood and moves revealed students' ability to engage in the negotiation component of scientific argumentation to make assertions about relations between evidence and models. Effective collaboration resulting in group consensus of the relationship (categorized as supports, strongly supports, or contradicts) was facilitated by the use of interrogatives, modulation, and a balanced contribution between group members. Conversely, negotiation which did not reach consensus featured less contribution between groupmore »
Students face many challenges that are connected to the scientific enterprise, such as the increasing frequency of extreme weather events (e.g., prolonged periods of drought, record temperatures, severe precipitation episodes). Recent scientific consensus has attributed increases in such events to the current climate crisis caused by human activities. The potential relation between extreme weather and current climate change characterizes why these phenomena may be complex, and understanding both the distinctions and relations between weather and climate is essential for reasoning about such phenomena. To help students in this regard, we have designed the Extreme Weather build-a-MEL, where they evaluate the connections between lines of evidence and alternative explanations. The build-a-MEL helps increase students’ agency (i.e., to intentionally make things happen through actions). And with increased agency, students are able to construct knowledge about weather and climate through engagement in scientific practices, with alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards.