century skills among students and/or teachers engaged with the model?

  1. Effectiveness and implications: What does the available evidence indicate about the impact of the model on development of 21st century skills among diverse groups of science learners? What does the evidence indicate about unique, domain-specific aspects of science that may support development of 21st century skills? Does the available evidence point to principles of instructional design for development of 21st century skills that may be applicable to other science curricula and/or teaching strategies?

This chapter summarizes the two papers presented on the first day of the workshop, and Chapter 5 summarizes the two papers presented on the second day. Chapter 8 synthesizes the evidence of intersections between science education and 21st century skills from all four papers.


Douglas Clark (Arizona State University) presented an overview of his team’s paper, which considers how engaging students in argumentation in online environments can help promote the development of 21st century skills (Clark et al., 2009). First, he explained that the team focused on argumentation, because inquiry and argumentation are at the heart of current efforts to help all students develop scientific literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993; National Research Council, 1996). Scientific literacy, he said, involves understanding how knowledge is generated, justified, and evaluated by scientists and how to use such knowledge to engage in inquiry in ways that reflect the practices of the scientific community. Engaging students in argumentation can build this understanding and application of science processes.

Clark used the term “scientific argumentation” to describe a process in which students learn, whether in the domain of science or in another domain, to:

  • develop, warrant, and communicate a persuasive argument in terms of the processes and criteria valued in science and

  • construct, critique, and communicate sound and valid arguments in terms of the connections between and among the evidence and theoretical ideas.

He proposed that both of these facets of scientific argumentation are central 21st century skills. However, he cautioned, developing scientific argumentation can be quite challenging for students (e.g., Abell, Anderson,

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