Exploration of preservice teachers’ reflective judgment and argumentation skills revealed in a socioscientific issues-based inquiry laboratory course

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Mathematics and Science Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014




This study aimed to explore preservice teachers’ (PTs) reflective judgment skills and determine the argumentation pattern used during argumentation in socioscientific issues (SSI) based Inquiry Laboratory Course (ILC). The association between reflective judgment skills and argumentation pattern was also investigated in SSI-based ILC. The participants of the study were 20 PTs from the Department of Elementary Education at a large, research oriented public university in Turkey. Qualitative research method was used in this study. During SSI-based ILC five socioscientific issues (transportation issue, food additives, alternative energy sources, climate change, and the industrial revolution) were used. PTs’ laboratory manuals, interviews and classroom discussions were analyzed qualitatively. In addition to qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis by using chi square, fisher exact test on what correlations were presented to address hypothesized relationships between v reflective judgment stages and argumentation levels within five different socioscientific issues. Results of the study showed that PTs’ Reflective Judgment Model (RJM) scores tended to increase from the first experiment to last experiment. In that, the class average scores of RJM increased from first experiments to last experiments In addition to class average scores, number of reflective PTs also increased from three to nine. Being reflective on SSI, PTs’ also used different levels of argumentation. Their use of evidence to support conflicting ideas tended to increase as their use of incorrect or insufficient use of evidence decreased. Finally, the association between reflective judgment skills and argumentation pattern revealed that reflective PTs tend to have of highest level argumentation whereas prereflective PTs tend to have lowest level argumentation skills across different SSI.