The effect of an argumentation-based training programme on pre-service science teachers’ ability to implement a learner-centred curriculum in selected Eritrean Middle Schools
This study is part of a larger school-based research project aimed at training science teachers to integrate argumentation into K-12 science instruction. The current study examined the effect of an argumentation-based training programme on pre-service science teachers’ ability to use an argumentation-based instructional model (ABIM) to implement a learner-centred curriculum in selected Eritrean middle school science classrooms. The study was situated within the social constructivist and argumentation theoretical frameworks. A predominately qualitative research approach was utilized to address the purpose and the research questions of this study. The research design was primarily a case study of a cohort of 25 undergraduate middle school pre-service science teachers, enrolled in a teaching practice course in January, 2013 under the auspices of the Department of Science, College of Education at Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT). None of the pre-service teachers involved in the study had taken a formal course work, workshops or seminars on argumentation instruction. Six of the 25 pre-service teachers were selected for an in-depth qualitative analysis using purposive sampling technique (Groenewald, 2004; Flyvbjerg, 2006). This study utilized multiple data collection instruments including, questionnaire, argument-based tasks, classroom observation, interview, reflective questionnaire, video-tape class lessons and field notes. Argumentation framework as espoused in the work of Toulmin (1958) and Ogunniyi (2004) were utilized as the units of analysis for the data collected in the study. Furthermore, the study considered a variety of validity and ethical protocols to ensure the findings and interpretation generated from the data were valid.