they could be justified based on the data the students had
observed during the activity, and whether it was coherent with
their existing scientific knowledge, such as the distribution of sensory receptors in the human body (Table 5). By evaluating and
revising these justifications, the students could jointly reach a
valid argument that would justify their results.
As a result of this discussion, the resources activated were narrowed down to those relevant to the adaptation or structure of the
nervous system; more students constructed coherent and rigorous
arguments at this stage (Tables 2 and 3). Certain students gathered different results at the observation stage and constructed
alternative arguments to make sense of their observations. To support them in constructing a rigorous argument together, students
were encouraged to share their arguments during a whole-class
discussion and evaluations of their arguments based on whether
the argument could coherently justify their observations. This
process encouraged students to reflect on their practices at the
observation stage, leading them to reach the level of scientifically
rigorous argument. As a result, the students were able to co-construct these rigorous arguments to make sense of their results
through evaluation and revision of their earlier arguments.
The argumentation activity was designed from a resources perspective to support students as they acted as epistemic agents to construct scientific arguments and in gathering data that would refute
their predictions. Using the outcomes of the students’ practical
activity, we illustrated that they were able to activate a variety of
conceptual resources, and that the design of the activity was helpful
in encouraging students to evaluate and reconstruct their arguments. Most of the students developed rigorous arguments through
argumentation, reflecting the epistemic aspects of the scientific
community. By demonstrating an activity that adapted the POE
strategy according to a resources perspective, we hope to shed light
on how to develop science classes that support students as epistemic agents with the ability to construct their own scientifically rigorous arguments.
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HEESOO HA is a graduate student in the Department of Science Education,
and HEUI-BAIK KIM is a Professor in the Department of Biology Education,
at Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Correspondence
about this article can be addressed to Ms. Ha at email@example.com.