Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10216/84035
Author(s): José Martins Ferreira
Rui Trindade
Carlinda Leite
Title: Do We Need Argumentative Reasoning in Higher Education?
Issue Date: 2010-08
Abstract: The Bologna Reform of the European Universities brings the development of student skills to the frontline of teachers'concerns. Acknow ledging that the simple transfer of information must be replaced by teaching methods centred on studentlearning activities is now a reality, and has challenged traditional higher-education pedagogies focused on "right answers".In a broader perspective, the teaching paradigm and the learning outcomes are changing, namely those which areconnected to communication and argumentative skills.The aim of this paper is to contribute to questioning the role of argumentation in higher education, in order to understandhow the w ork of students incorporates the development of argumentative skills, in line w ith quality improvement demands inhigher education. Assessment instruments related to the development of argumentative skills are identified and analysed intw o Portuguese Schools (Education Sciences and Engineering, both from the University of Porto).The specific objectives of this research are: 1) To evaluate the real importance of argumentative skills as a criterion forassessing students; 2) to analyze argumentative reasoning structures that are present in reports and other deliverablesresulting from students assignments; and 3) to analyze argument pragmatics used by students.Argumentation is structured upon contextualized and communicative reasoning, rather than text (and logic reasoning)based on assumptions that are not discussed. Argumentative reasoning fits w ell in the field of possible, preferred choice,for w hich the best arguments have to be produced (Grácio, 1992; 1998; Toulmin 2001).All situations characterised by more proficient levels in the production and use of know ledge, as academic learning,assume the existence of choices that require reasoning and argumentative text. Furthermore, argumentation alternativesare essential for know ledge meaningful appropriation (Weston, 2005).Argumentative reasoning is part of the soft skills that must be developed by higher-education students, since they areasked to support conclusions of experimental procedures, to arguably choose one theoretical option or technique amongothers, and to organize projects w hose action lines must be sustained (Coffin, 2008).The place for argumentation in higher education curricula differs from one country to another, and teaching traditions differamong Latin and Anglo-Saxon communities. Argumentation is usually seen as less important than the acquisition ofknow ledge and learning contents (Andrew s, 2009), and rhetoric has long been misunderstood / mistreated (Perelman,1997; Amossy, 2009). How ever, the changing relationship betw een higher education and society, both in the socialimplications of know ledge and in the structure of the know ledge society, enabled argumentation to emerge as a need toachieve equity, citizenship and social justice in contemporary higher education (Brennan, 2007). In addition, highereducation policy literature has tended to follow the human capital development, and subsequently to promote civic valuesand behaviour, facilitating social mobility (id; ibidem). To achieve this purpose of ensuring equity it is important to developargumentative skills among students.
Subject: Educação, Ciências da educação
Education, Educational sciences
Scientific areas: Ciências sociais::Ciências da educação
Social sciences::Educational sciences
URI: https://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/handle/10216/84035
Document Type: Poster em Conferência Internacional
Rights: openAccess
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Poster em Conferência Internacional
FPCEUP - Poster em Conferência Internacional

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