The Argumentation Toolkit

Lots of science education researchers write thoughtfully about argumentation, but I’ve always been partial to Katherine McNeil on the topic. Her approaches are particularly thoughtful and non-dogmatic. Therefore, I was delighted to discover that she was part of a team that has created a nicely organized set of free online tools and training for teachers who want to start or improve using a Claims-Evidence-Reasoning approach to teaching argumentation. It walks through why argumentation matters and introduces a suite of “tools” teachers can use to help students have productive discussions of claims and evidence.

I’m especially impressed with a series of easy-to-use 45-minute “training” sessions. Teachers can do the activities and watch the videos to bolster their own learning, or science teams can do them together for professional development. presentations are ready to go on the website for individuals or science teams to use together. I recommend this strongly for teachers wanting to build this aspect of their teaching.

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