Analyzing Changes in View During Argumentation: A Quest for Method

Selma Leitão


There is an increasing interest among psychologists and educators in articulating argumentation to knowledge building processes that evolve in teaching-learning settings. However, a major problem facing researchers in attempting to do so is the lack of analytical instruments with which to approach this issue. In such conditions, it is tempting to look for methods developed in other domains and consider what they can offer. What is concerning in such methodological decisions is that the researcher often appears to ignore precisely what the methods adopted were originally designed for. Not surprisingly, studies carried out with these methods often fail to answer the researchers' questions. This article discusses the risks involved in importing methods developed in one domain to another one. It focuses on emerging approaches to the study of learning through argument and discusses the risk of transporting existing methods from argumentation theory and discourse studies as if they were ready-made tools for exploring argumentation in contexts of learning. It is argued that, although methods developed in other domains can play an important role in describing and understanding argumentation processes, certain dimensions must be incorporated if they are to be extended to the study of discourse mediation in teaching-learning processes.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0103123


argumentation; changes in view; knowledge construction; learning through argument; qualitative methods

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Copyright (c) 2001 Selma Leitão

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