Towards a more social pedagogy in science education: the role of argumentation


  • Jonathan Osborne King’s College London


This presentation will argue that one of the major problems school science suffers from is a pedagogy which is dominated by the conduit metaphor of teaching. This is the idea that communication is a one way process where teachers conceive of themselves as didactic disseminators of knowledge. When teachers were the sole source of knowledge in a community, such a concept was difficult to challenge. However, in a contemporary context, where young people have access to a growing range of interactive technologies to engage in creative and autonomous self-expression, the predominance of such authoritative modes of interaction are open to question and are, in part, responsible for much of young people’s disaffection with school science. Moreover, the range of alternatives begins to expose the inherent functional ineffectiveness. This presentation will argue, rather, that it is dialogic modes of interaction which are an essential element of learning and teaching in the 21st Century. These offer students the opportunity to engage in deliberative interaction about the ideas of science and to construct a deeper and more meaningful understanding of what science offers. Drawing on the work that I and colleagues have conducted in argumentation, I will show how the four essential elements to any science education – the development of conceptual understanding; the improvement of cognitive reasoning; improving students’ understanding of the epistemic nature of science; and affording an affective experience which is both positive and engaging – can all be facilitated through a focus on argumentation.


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Como Citar

Osborne, J. (2011). Towards a more social pedagogy in science education: the role of argumentation. Revista Brasileira De Pesquisa Em Educação Em Ciências, 7(1). Recuperado de