dB-SERC workshop 03-14
Topic: Approaches to infusing argumentation in introductory undergraduate STEM courses
Discussion leaders: Carina M. Rebello, Continuing Lecturer, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University & Sanjay Rebello, professor of curriculum and instruction and physics and astronomy at Purdue University
When: Tuesday March 14, from 1:30-3:30 pm
Where: 9th floor, LRDC
Abstract: To positively impact higher education in STEM, conversations are needed on ways to transform curricula that support diverse populations of students. The Engage to Excel, a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST, 2012), emphasizes the need for evidence-based teaching strategies to improve the STEM pipeline. Recently, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) have provided guidelines on 21st century STEM workforce skills. NGSS, which is based on Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012), enumerates core disciplinary ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices for grades K-12. Post-secondary science educators have also begun to realize NGSS’s importance for college science teaching. A recent Science article (Cooper et al., 2015) states that “increasing numbers of students will enter college whose learning has been informed by the Framework”, and that “it would be a disservice to throw these students back into typical introductory [college] courses that focus on memorizing facts and algorithmic calculations.” Scientific argumentation has been highlighted in NGSS as one of the key science and engineering practices. Studies have shown that embedding scientific argumentation in problems can enhance conceptual understanding and problem solving skills. Yet, students are seldom encouraged to justify or explain their solutions or rarely reflect on the appropriateness of their responses and consider alternative solutions. In this workshop we describe how we have integrated argumentation in introductory physics for both pre-service elementary teachers and calculus-based physics. We will discuss the impact on student learning and challenges of implementation. Also we will briefly review literature on alternative frameworks and approaches to infusing argumentation in introductory STEM courses. Attendees will be encouraged to consider ways in which argumentation can be infused in their own classrooms. They will work in small groups to design problems/scenarios and invent ways to support argumentation in their classrooms. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their insights about strategies for meaningful inclusion of argumentation in their own classrooms.
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