Understanding a High School Physics Teacher’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Argumentation

Jianlan Wang, Gayle A. Buck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Scientific argumentation is an important learning objective in science education. It is also an effective instructional approach to constructivist science learning. The implementation of argumentation in school settings requires science teachers, who are pivotal agents of transforming classroom practices, to develop sophisticated knowledge of argumentation. However, there is a lack of understanding about science teachers’ knowledge of argumentation, especially the dialogic meaning of argumentation. In this case study, we closely examine a high school physics teacher’s argumentation-related pedagogic content knowledge (PCK) in the context of dialogic argumentation. We synthesize the teacher’s performed PCK from his argumentation practices and narrated PCK from his reflection on the argumentation practices, from which we summarize his PCK of argumentation from the perspectives of orientation, instructional strategies, students, curriculum, and assessment. Finally, we describe the teacher’s perception and adaption of argumentation in his class. We also identity the barriers to argumentation implementation in this particular case and suggest solutions to overcome these barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-604
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Science Teacher Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Argumentation
  • Constructivist science learning
  • Pedagogic content knowledge (PCK)


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