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—(1996) In L. Schauble and R. Glaser (Eds.) Innovations in learning: New environments for education, pp. 97-125. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
This paper explores a form of classroom discourse, organized around student argumentation, that brings into focus an alternative view of science and science education as socially and culturally constituted, meaning-making activities. To elaborate the differences between this emerging discourse practice and conventional practice, two examples are considered in which students and teachers grapple with the accountability of theories, facts, or claims to evidence. A key aspect of this analysis is the examination of the implications of Mikhail Bakhtin's core notion of dialogism for understanding student learning in science. This analysis illustrates how a perspective on learning in science emerges through contact with socioculturally based theoretical perspectives and with the everyday experiences of teachers and students as they work to build sense-making communities in their classrooms.