Learning by Arguing

Iordanou, Kalypso orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5930-9393, Kuhn, Deanna, Matos, Flora, Shi, Yuchen and Hemberger, Laura (2019) Learning by Arguing. Learning and Instruction, 63 . p. 101207. ISSN 0959-4752

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.05.004


Can argumentation practice simultaneously promote knowledge acquisition while advancing skill in the practice itself? We examine the effectiveness of a dialog-based argument curriculum in fostering middle-school students' knowledge acquisition as well as dialogic and written argumentation skill with respect to a content-rich, socially significant topic. Results of two studies, one involving a physical science topic and the other a social topic, showed a single intervention could meet both objectives. Study 1 following a previously used model of extended intervention (nine sessions over five weeks) and Study 2 experimenting with a dense model of six intervention hours completed over two days. Both were found effective. A novel question-and-answer method was found superior to a traditional one in promoting acquisition of factual knowledge sufficient to support argumentation. With respect to skill gains, a prompt to consider incongruent evidence showed the greatest effect in furthering mastery of a critical argument skill – to acknowledge and address, rather than ignore, evidence that counters one’s favored position.

Repository Staff Only: item control page