Argumentation in science education as a systemic activity: An activity-theoretical perspective

Demetris Lazarou, Rosamund Sutherland, Sibel Erduran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
624 Downloads (Pure)


The main aim of the paper is to show that argumentation in primary science education can be exhibited not only as a collective activity, comprising of a series of discrete teaching and learning actions, but also as a systemic activity. This is achieved through an effort to reconstruct the activity of argumentation by examining both the ensemble of sociocultural practices that facilitate it and to reveal the dynamics and interrelations that exist between the activity’s elements. Appropriate methodological and analytical tools from Cultural-Historical Activity Theory were used. The data to support the claim of the paper stem from an empirical study of examining the practices that facilitate argumentation in science education in six primary schools in Cyprus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150–166
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Volume79 (2016)
Early online date17 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Argumentation
  • Science education
  • Activity theory
  • Sociocultural
  • Activity system
  • Contradictions


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