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ERIC Number: EJ935900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Scientific Argument and Explanation: A Necessary Distinction?
Osborne, Jonathan F.; Patterson, Alexis
Science Education, v95 n4 p627-638 Jul 2011
In this paper, we argue that there is an emergent confusion in the literature in the use of the terms "argument" and "explanation." Drawing on a range of publications, we point to instances where these terms are either used inappropriately or conflated. We argue that the distinction between these two constructs is, however, important as a lack of clarity of fundamental concepts is problematic for a field. First, a lack of common conception hinders effective communication and, second, it makes defining the nature of the activity we might expect students to engage in more difficult. Drawing on a body of scholarship on argument and explanation, this paper is an attempt to clarify the distinction and to explain why such a distinction might matter. (Contains 2 footnotes and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A