Teaching as persuasion

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A design experiment was undertaken to explore the effects of science lessons, framed as persuasion, on students' knowledge, beliefs, and interest. Sixth and seventh graders participated in lessons about Galileo and his discoveries focusing on the personal costs and public controversies surrounding those discoveries. In selected classrooms, lessons were teacher led, while others were student led. Participants' knowledge, beliefs, and interest were compared to peers in other science classes. There were significant differences between persuasion and comparison classrooms on all variables. However, teacher-led lessons were more effective at changing students' knowledge, whereas student-led lessons had more impact on students' beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-813
Number of pages19
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002



  • Conceptual change
  • Design experiment
  • Persuasion
  • Science learning
  • Science teaching
  • Teaching metaphor

Cite this

Alexander, Patricia A. ; Fives, Helenrose ; Buehl, Michelle M. ; Mulhern, Julie. / Teaching as persuasion. In: Teaching and Teacher Education. 2002 ; Vol. 18, No. 7. pp. 795-813.