The uses of evidences and their evaluation in written arguments about a codominance case

  • XVII IOSTE SYMPOSIUM Science and Technology Education for a P IOSTE


In this paper, we show an investigative didactic sequence (IDS) composed by activities about genetic of the colours of pelage’s cats, which promote argumentation. The present paper discusses the challenges of promoting argument in the biology classes. We use the model of Toulmin (2006). However, in this work, we agree with Jimenez-Aleixandre (2010), when we consider the evidence as similar to data of Toulmin. The evidence has a slightly different characteristic to the Toulmian data, because of its function or its role. The criteria to evaluate evidence are specificity (if the evidence has relation with the conclusion), sufficiency (if a set of evidence or only one evidence is sufficient to reach the conclusion) and reliability (the probability of evidence supports the conclusion) (JIMÉNEZ-ALEIXANDRE, 2010). The objective of this work is to analyse which evaluation criteria of evidences are present in argumentative texts in biology classes about genetics. The students of secondary school should to answer the question: “Why only female cats can be tricolour?” We collected 25 texts, but only 16 were arguments. The students belonged to 2nd degree of high school (16 until 18 years old) of a public school. In each text was verified the presence or absence of the criteria for evaluation of evidence. The findings are 100% specificity, 80% sufficiency and 31% reliability. From the data presented, we conclude that the argumentative texts present the evaluation of criteria for evidence in high percentages, especially the specificity and sufficiency. The reliability presented on low percentage. A few students could represent the location of alleles on chromosomes. The students developed argumentative in the classroom, with simple activities. Although the activities are simple, genetic problems are more abstract than other areas of biology.

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