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Appeals to Science: Recirculation of Online Claims in Socioscientific Reasoning

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Anne Solli
Publicerad i Research in Science Education
ISSN 0157-244X
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Linnécentret for forskning om lärande (LinCS)
Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-019-...
Ämnesord Controversy mapping, Socioscientific issues (SSIs), Appeals to science, Communicative activity types (CATs), Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik, Didaktik

Sammanfattning

Conflicting knowledge claims regarding complex issues have become readily available through networked digital media, and the introduction of Internet access to classrooms has provided opportunities for accessing a huge number of sources. Science education plays an important role in providing students opportunities to seek and evaluate information and engage in reasoning. The aim of this article is to analyze ways upper secondary science students invoke recirculated online claims originating from a scientific paper in conversations regarding genetically modified organisms (GMO), and to understand how such invocations are effective in order for students to engage accountably. By using the notion of communicative activity types—the meaning and function of the recirculated claims were analyzed in (1) a peer discussion, (2) a debate, and (3) a reflective seminar. The persuasive power of the discursive resource “appeals to science” is illustrated when students enlist scientific objectivity and rigor to underpin the credibility of arguments in a debate, and when qualifying a reflective position in a seminar, whereas they reflect on how actors in a Web context use appeals to science rhetorically when engaged in a discussion with peers reporting online claims. The study offers insight into kinds of communicative competences involved in conversations and how “scientific facts” justify, in this case, opposition to GMO. Finally, it is reflected upon the importance of not only learning how to make well-founded knowledge claims, but also to understand how science is used rhetorically in order to develop appropriate responses to complex issues in the digital age.

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