Scientists use models to represent their imagination and conceptualization of a particular phenomenon. They then use models to develop an argument to debate, defend, and debunk ideas in their peer community. Modeling is an essential practice of authentic science. To foster the pedagogical practice of incorporating models in argumentative contexts, we introduce an approach called “Science Negotiation Pedagogy.” We show how models can support argumentation practices in science classrooms in six phases of action: (1) create a driving question; (2) construct a tentative model in groups; (3) construct a tentative argument in groups; (4) negotiate models and arguments in a whole-class discussion, then revise models and arguments through negotiation; (5) consult the experts; and (6) reflect through writing. A unit on the human respiratory system is used as an example to demonstrate how Science Negotiation Pedagogy can be implemented in biology classrooms.
Argumentation is now seen as a core practice for helping students engage with the construction and critique of scientific ideas and for making students scientifically literate. This article demonstrates a negotiation model to show how argumentation can be a vehicle to drive students to learn science’s big ideas. The model has six phases: creating a testable question, conducting an investigation cooperatively, constructing an argument in groups, negotiating arguments publicly, consulting the experts, and writing and reflecting individually. A fifth-grade classroom example from a unit on the human body serves as an example to portray how argumentation can be integrated into science classrooms.