New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Implementation of Interrupted Case Studies in Science Communication

Mikeas Silva De Lima, University of São Paulo (Brazil)

Douglas Gomes Lima Dos Santos, University of São Paulo (Brazil)

Salete Linhares Queiroz, São Carlos Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo (Brazil)


Argumentation is present in numerous stages of science investigation, such as raising hypotheses, constructing predictions, and drawing conclusions. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies about educational scenarios aimed to promote argumentation, showing its relevance for developing students´ reasoning, critical thinking and understanding of the nature of science [1]. Special attention is given to those involving case studies. This work reports the application of three interrupted case studies to develop argumentation skills of first-year undergraduate chemistry students, at a Brazilian university, enrolled in a science communication course. The case studies were created based on three research articles [2-4] and addressed water resources contaminated by heavy metals and their effects on human health. Each case was solved by a group of 5 students, investigating the heavy metal content of different water resources’ sediments. Eight meetings were held to solve the case studies, and at the end, the groups had to prepare an oral presentation and argue their resolution for the case, which were analyzed from an epistemic point of view [5]. All case studies provided rich debates among students and stimulated participation in the activities. For the first two case studies, the groups that solved them developed a strong argument in which theoretical claims are supported by experimental data in the form of visual representations, which demonstrates an adequate understanding of the proposed problem and the aims of the activity. For the third case study, the group that solved it developed a weak argument, without satisfactory exploration of data, and visual representations were taken as obvious and were not correlated to establishing of theoretical claims and conclusions. This result suggests a greater complexity for the third case. It was also observed that those students had incomplete knowledge about the elaboration of the oral presentation genre, regarding its communicative situation and compositional structure. This work highlights the possibility of elaborating and applying a teaching sequence based on solving case studies, which focus is to have the desirable authenticity to develop contents and develop argumentation in chemistry teaching. This study was financed by FAPESP (Grant 2018/23809-3).

Keywords: Argumentation, Interrupted Case Study Method, Science Communication

References: [1] Erduran, S., Ozdem, Y. & Park, J. Y. (2015). International Journal of STEM Education, 2(1), 1-12.

[2] Cotta, J. A. O., Rezende, M. O. O., & Piovani, M. R. (2006). Química Nova, 29(1), 40-45.

[3] Voigt, C. L., Silva, C. P. D., & Campos, S. X. D. (2016). Química Nova, 39(2), 180-188.

[4] Melo, V. D. F., Andrade, M. D., Batista, A. H., Favaretto, N., Grassi, M. T., & Campos, M. S. D. (2012). Química Nova, 35(1), 22-29.

[5] Kelly, G. J., & Takao, A. (2002). Science Education, 86(3), 314-342.

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