What is a science seminar?
Advanced Science Seminar Session 1
- 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).
Advanced Science Seminar Session 1 PDF
- Video: Introduction to Module
- Activity: Analyze transcript of science seminar, elements of argumentation
- Activity: Analyze transcript of science seminar, teacher role
- Session Takeaways
* Extension: Try it!
1. Video & Discussion: Science Seminar
Watch the video below, which introduces the science seminar.
- How similar and different in the science seminar are teacher and student roles compared to your previous science instruction?
- How might a science seminar support student learning of science content?
- (If participants completed intro module) During the intro module, we covered four elements of argumentation that students may require extra support with. Which of these do you think a science seminar supports? Why?
2. Activity: Analyze transcript of science seminar, elements of argumentation
Watch the video of the science seminar (~11:00-15:23).
- After viewing the video, work in pairs or small groups to analyze the selected transcript to identify student use of the 4 elements of argumentation
Science Background:Three claims discussed in this science seminar.
1: The allele for fluorescence is dominant – cats need only one copy of it in order to glow.
2: The allele for fluorescence is non-dominant– cats need two copies of it in order to glow.
3: The allele for fluorescence is incompletely dominant – cats will glow with either one or two copies, but cats will glow more brightly with two alleles for fluorescence.
Discussion 1 about Transcript:
- Were the four “challenging elements” of argumentation visible in this student discussion? How?
- How do you envision a science seminar working in your classroom?
3. Activity: Analyze transcript of science seminar, teacher role
Work in pairs or small groups to analyze the selected transcript to identify strategies or cues used by the teacher (the role of the teacher).
Discussion 2 about Transcript:
- What did the teacher do/say during the science seminar? How did students respond?
- What worked well about this strategy?
- How can you envision yourself leading a science seminar with your students? What would you do well? What do you think would be a challenge for you?
4. Session Takeaways
- A science seminar allows students to grapple with the four challenging elements of argumentation. The science seminar prompts students and teachers to take on new roles in the classroom.
- The science seminar provides students with opportunities for argumentation and a deeper understanding of the content.
Extension: Try it!
- Reflect on current practice: If you have an opportunity, video tape a normal discussion in your classroom, bring in 5 minutes to review how interactive it is. (Note: Depending on the number of teachers participating in the next session, you may only ask teachers to discuss and not share the video due to session time constraints.)
- Brainstorm: Is there anywhere in your curriculum/unit where you can see an opportunity to discuss potential claims in a science seminar? Bring in and share.
View Other Sessions
Advanced Science Seminar Agenda
|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.||45 minutes|
|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.||45 minutes|
|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.||45 minutes|