Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 5 (June, 2007)
Teaching argumentation through the visual models in a resource-based learning environment

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To enable individuals to live well in the current modern society of science and technology, cultivating and raising students' scientific literacy in the different disciplines has become the goal of science education worldwide (AAAS, 1993; MOE, 1998). In terms of teaching to promote scientific literacy, continuous changes in education have had to be made in many countries (Bell, Abd-El-Khalick, Lederman, McComas, & Matthews, 2001; McComas, Almazroa, & Clough, 1998), Taiwan is no exception. Besides the emphasis upon teaching the concepts of science and technology, in Taiwan's last curriculum reform, habits of mind is one of the curriculum indicators applied in grades 1-9, which aims to enable students to have the ability to integrate information, make judgments and infer from socioscientific issues, solve problems, and so forth (Chang & Chiu, 2005a; MOE, 1998). Besides the importance of promoting scientific literacy, learning from resource-based environment has become a big issue. In the drift of using the Internet, more and more information is stored and presented electronically all over the world nowadays, therefore the most popular resource people use for searching information is the Internet. There has been an emphasis on students' learning to be self-regulated from the interaction with a wide range of learning resources (Neumann, Gräber, & Tergan, 2005; Rakes, 1996). According to the emphases upon scientific literacy and resource-based learning, the skills of argumentation are essential for modern citizens and professionals, especially living in the Information Age. How to make people argue well from the various information they could obtain in this Information Age turns into the issue educators need to concern about and work with. In this study, it was considered the use of visual model could benefit teachers' teaching and students' learning about argumentation. In the following section, the idea of resource-based learning and the importance of using visual models in education are described. Meanwhile, three existing visual models of argumentation, which are adopted in this study, are delineated as well.


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