This article provides a review of the research literature concerning scientific argumentation in the K-12 classroom. The researcher argues that not all forms of argumentation promote an understanding of scientific practice, and therefore not all support scientific literacy. This paper identifies three main approaches to lessons that aim to introduce students to scientific argumentation: (1) immersion, (2) structure, and (3) socioscientific. The research draws on the work of Ford (2008) and others to find that immersion strategies – lessons in which argumentation is integrated into the processes of engaging in scientific inquiry (as opposed to it being taught as a separate lesson on structures of argument (approach 2) or being taught in the context of debating or discussing science and society issues (approach 3) holds the greatest promise for supporting scientific literacy.
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