INCLUSION OF SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENTATION INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY IN THE CURRICULUM OF PHYSICS TEACHERS’ EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Science education literature in recent times was dominated by the call for a pedagogical shift from the teacher-centred approach to a more student-centred approach to learning. One such method that has gained the attention of science educators over the past two decades is the Scientific Argumentation Instructional Strategy (SAIS). The implication of this call is that Science Teacher Education Curriculum in Nigeria, with specific reference to physics education, needs to be re-examined for the inclusion of a pedagogical approach that emphasized the use of Scientific Argumentation Instructional Strategy. The paper has adopted a theoretical approach to argue for the inclusion of Scientific Argumentation Instructional Strategy in the Curriculum of science teachers in Nigeria. The historical perspective of teacher education in Nigeria was briefly x-rayed while the conceptual and operational interpretation of scientific argumentation was presented with a special focus on claims, justification and rebuttal which are considered as the critical components in SAIS. The paper presented useful arguments to advocate the inclusion of SAIS into teacher education curriculum towards de-emphasizing focus on teacher-centred learning. A step-wise approach towards the implementation of SAIS in the physics classroom was presented while a template of instructional plan on SAIS was also proposed for the use of the science teacher educators. It was however recommended that the science teacher education curriculum should be re-designed to emphasize, encourage and promote the use of scientific argumentation in science classrooms. The secondary school physics curriculum should also be expanded to contain both the scientific and socio-scientific topics to pave for the students’ engagement in scientific argumentation.
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