Advanced Module on the Science Seminar
This advanced module on scientific argumentation focusing on the science seminar can be executed as four sessions that are each 45-minutes, or fewer sessions that are longer (e.g. one 3-hour session). If held as four sessions, the agenda includes a “Try it with your students!” section to encourage teachers to implement some argumentation aspect before the next session. The following session then begins with time for teachers to share their experiences, as well as artifacts of their students’ argumentation (e.g. writing, video). These sections are optional.
- Teachers will learn another activity, the science seminar, which engages students in argumentation.
- Within the context of a science seminar, teachers will apply the four elements of argumentation that students need extra support with: 1) Evidence; 2) Reasoning; 3) Student Interaction; and 4) Competing Claims).
- Teachers will learn how to prepare students to apply their content knowledge during the science seminar.
- Teachers will learn how to establish expectations for student interaction during the science seminar.
- Teachers will learn 9 strategies for implementing science seminars in their classroom, including:
- Allow for awkward silence.
- Let students lead the discussion.
- Chime in at the right moment.
- Make a safe space.
- Communicate norms.
- Set up chairs in concentric “u-shapes.”
- Include mixed ability levels in circles.
- Encourage students to project supports.
- Establish a hot seat.
- Teachers will learn how to evaluate student written arguments based upon the quality of the organization of the argument, the quality of connections across ideas, and accuracy.
The agenda for this module’s sessions can be found within each session’s page. However, you can also view a downloadable version of the agenda that cuts across all four sessions in this introductory module.
|Session #1: What is a science seminar?
|This session introduces the science seminar, then explores how the science seminar encourages students to grapple with the four challenging elements of argumentation.
|Session #2: How do you prepare students for a science seminar?
|This session explores how to prepare students for the science seminar and how to support student participation during the science seminar.
|Session #3: How do you conduct a science seminar?
|This session introduces teacher and student roles during the seminar, and gives participants the opportunity to engage in a science seminar.
|Session #4: How do you support students writing a scientific argument after a science seminar?
|This session explores how the science seminar can be leveraged to support student writing of science arguments.