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Title: Students’ sense-making with visual data in small-group argumentation
Authors: Radinsky, Josh
Goldman, Susan
Singer, Melissa
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.
Citation: Radinsky, J., Goldman, S., & Singer, M. (2008). Students’ sense-making with visual data in small-group argumentation. In Kanselaar, G., Jonker, V., Kirschner, P. A., & Prins, F. J. (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008, Volumes 2 (pp. 237-245). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Argumentation is a key component of scientific practice. It involves a dialectical balance of opposition and agreement, requiring negotiation and affording conceptual change through the co-construction of understandings. In classroom science inquiry with complex visual data representations, argumentation is an essential discourse structure through which students make sense of data and domain concepts. This study analyzed the argumentation practices of middle school students conducting an earth science inquiry project using data visualization tools. Analysis of spoken and gestural interactions during small-group work of one group of students in each of three classrooms revealed three common modes in which students employed visual data in argumentation: (1) using data-referenced talk and gesture to challenge authoritative positioning; (2) using gesture to participate in argumentation with incomplete conceptual vocabulary; and (3) using argumentation about data as a means of co-constructing the goals of academic tasks.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2008

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