Leading to students’ argumentation by questioning: Case studies in science lessons

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Objectives: Argumentation received enduring attentions by science educators. However, to most science teachers, argumentation is a relatively unfamiliar strategy and it seldom automatically take place in science lessons. How to lead students’ composing argumentation still confused to most of them. The aims of this study were to examine how do questioning influence the students’ argumentation in science lessons. Methodology: Case studies were used in this study. Six preservice science teachers (PSSTs) were enrolled. A variety of data source, lesson recordings, teaching reflection form, and field notes were collected to explore thequestioning and the students’ argumentation practice in their lessons. All the lessons given by these PSSTs’ were fully transcribed and analyzed. Results: Teachers’ closed questions and students’ short answers after them were the main discourses pattern in these lessons. On the contrary, the number of open questions were fewer. There were three types of questions which did not follow with students’ argumentation directly. The qualities of students’ argumentations were influenced by how the open questions were asked by the PSSTs. Conclusions: Teachers’ questioning can influence students’ argumentation in two ways: the occurrence and the quality of students’ argumentation. However, it also showed that the students’ argumentation in science lesson were also determined by other factors. Copyright © 2017 The Education University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017



Xie, Q., & So, W. M. W. (2017, November). Leading to students’ argumentation by questioning: Case studies in science lessons. Paper presented at the WERA Focal Meeting & HKERA International Conference 2017 (WERA-HKERA 2017): Innovation, Reform and Education Change in a Contemporary World, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


  • Argumentation
  • Questioning
  • Science education