Argumentation in science education as an evolving concept: Following the object of activity

Demetris Lazarou, Sibel Erduran, Rosamund Sutherland

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

17 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract The paper argues that the way we realise or define argumentation in a research project aiming at promoting the practice in primary science education should not be considered as something static and pre-given but may change during the various phases of the project, based on stakeholders' motives and needs. This claim is supported through the findings of a two-year empirical study that took place in Cyprus, which illustrate in detail the transformations that the definition and meaning of argumentation in primary science education went through. Activity theory is used as a theoretical, methodological and analytical framework. Specifically, the paper mainly draws on the notion of the object of the activity, used as a conceptual heuristic, and on the notions of the springboard and the microcosm from expansive learning theory, used as methodological and analytical tools, in order to trace the various definitions and meanings attributed to argumentation by stakeholders. Implications for research and the assessment of teachers are also presented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Early online date7 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2017


  • Argumentation
  • Science education
  • Activity theory
  • Activity system
  • Object


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