Open lecture: Sibel Erduran: Argumentation for critical thinking in the context of science education

Guest lecturer Sibel Erduran is Professor at the University of Oxford and Professor II at the Norwegian Centre for Science Education


Contemporary educational landscape has put a great deal of emphasis on secondary students’ acquisition of critical thinking skills. For example, many initiatives in STEM education highlight the importance of critical thinking skills as a significant learning outcome.  Furthermore, international curriculum policy recommendations have been made and extensive research has been carried out on how to improve the teaching and learning of critical thinking. The presentation focuses on the question of how argumentation can serve as a means to improve critical thinking in the context of science education. Argumentation is typically defined as the coordination of theory and evidence through justification. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of scientific claims such as “day and night is caused by a spinning earth” and “matter is made of tiny particles” can be unpacked and substantiated with reasons and evidence, ultimately contributing to broader skills including critical thinking. Theoretical and empirical research on argumentation in science education will be highlighted to illustrate how argumentation can be a means to achieving critical thinking. Implications for teachers’ professional development will be discussed.


Sibel Erduran is a Professor of Science Education and Fellow of St Cross College at University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She is also Professor II at University of Oslo, Norway. She is the President of the European Science Education Research Association; Editor-in-Chief of Science & Education and an Editor for International Journal of Science. Her work experience includes positions in the USA, Ireland as well as the UK. Her research interests focus on the infusion of epistemic practices of science in science education and she has a keen interest in the professional development of science teachers. Her work on argumentation has received international recognition through awards from NARST and EASE. She is currently the Principal Investigator of two funded projects: Project Calibrate (Wellcome Trust, Royal Society and Gatsby Foundation) and OARS Project (Templeton World Charity Foundation). Her recent books published in 2019 are entitled Argumentation in Chemistry Education: Research, Policy and Practice (Royal Society of Chemistry) and Transforming Teacher Education through the Epistemic Core of Chemistry: Empirical Evidence and Practical Strategies (Springer).  


Published Oct. 24, 2019 2:37 PM - Last modified Oct. 24, 2019 2:37 PM