Arguing like a scientist: Engaging students in core scientific practices

Ying-Chih Chen, Joshua Steenhoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Argumentation is now seen as a core practice for helping students engage with the construction and critique of scientific ideas and for making students scientifically literate. This article demonstrates a negotiation model to show how argumentation can be a vehicle to drive students to learn science's big ideas. The model has six phases: creating a testable question, conducting an investigation cooperatively, constructing an argument in groups, negotiating arguments publicly, consulting the experts, and writing and reflecting individually. A fifth-grade classroom example from a unit on the human body serves as an example to portray how argumentation can be integrated into science classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Argumentation
  • argument-based inquiry
  • human body system
  • nature of science
  • negotiation model
  • scientific practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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