Alignment of Teachers’ Epistemic Understanding and Intended Dialogic Scaffolding of Classroom argumentation: Implications on Face-to-Face, Open and Distance Learning Environments
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Dialogic scaffolding has the capacity to encourage and sustain students’ engagement in classroom argumentation. This study explored how the teachers’ levels of epistemic understanding were aligned with their intentions for dialogic scaffolding to encourage student's participation in classroom argumentation. Using varied data- gathering procedures such as surveys, classroom observation guides, and interview guides, results showed that the teachers’ varying levels of epistemic understanding are aligned with their dialogic scaffolding. Based on the criteria before the selection, each teacher was knowledgeable about the nature with significant exposure to inquiry-based teaching and learning, including classroom argumentation. Results showed that their rationale and nature of dialogic scaffolding were based on their levels of epistemic understanding. Results corroborate previous findings that explicit implementation of classroom argumentation depends on teachers’ strong intention and foundation of science content to challenge and stretch the capacities of their students in grasping the meaning of the subject matter. The study foregrounds the possibility of implementing classroom argumentation in any classroom, provided that the teachers can dialogically scaffold the class and lessen the immediate evaluative responses to students’ dialogues. The study, therefore, recommends teacher educators increase pre-service teachers’ exposure to inquiry approaches to science education, such as argumentation, as an investment for developing their dialogic scaffolding for classroom argumentation.
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