This research study aimed to analyze the relationship between content knowledge and argumentation by examining students’ prior subject matter knowledge and their production of arguments as well as by comparing students’ arguments with their knowledge-in-use during scientific argumentation sessions. Students’ dialogues and their engagement were also explored.
Material and methods:
A correlational research design was carried out for this research by using qualitative and quantitative methods. The participants of the study were 13 senior pre-service physics teachers studying in a large urban state university. Six scientific argumentation sessions were implemented Written and oral data were collected by using a variety of methods for different purposes. Toulmin’s Argument Pattern was used to evaluate the arguments while content knowledge was analyzed by the model developed by Chi and Roscoe (2002).
There was a positive relationship between individuals’ prior subject matter knowledge and their contributions to argumentations. Positive relationships also existed between individuals’ content knowledge they used and quantity of arguments they produced during the scientific argumentations.
Some interactional factors and learners' characteristics influence the relationship bewtween knowledge and argumentation and affect production of arguments. Therefore, instructors should be aware of these cognitive, affective and interactional factors while they are preparing an environment for scientific argumentation.