Designing professional development to support Teachers’ facilitation of argumentation

Alina Reznitskaya, Ian A.G. Wilkinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Teaching students how to argue well has been an historic ambition of American schooling. This chapter describes a year-long professional development programme designed to help teachers facilitate discussions about texts that engage primary school students in collaborative and rigorous argumentation. To better understand how teachers can systematically scaffold student engagement in argumentation, it draws on a variety of resources, including empirical studies of classroom discourse and teacher facilitation. Professional development efforts were also informed by the emerging research on educational interventions that support changes in teacher epistemic cognition. Contemporary scholars agree that argumentation skills are best developed through participation in a classroom dialogue, during which students ask challenging questions, justify their views, and evaluate the credibility of reasons and evidence. One commonly used justification for this position is based on sociocultural theories that view learning as a process of internalization of “cultural tools,” or new ways of speaking, acting, and thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Research on Dialogic Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780429806766
ISBN (Print)9781138338517
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


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