Elements of design for studying argumentation: the case of two on-going research lines



The aim of this paper is to present some ideas in order to construct designs for studying argumentation. Our specific focus is on learning processes involving peer interactions and adult-children activities. We consider argumentation as a context-bounded activity, at the crossroads of different lines of research, such as the neo-piagetian and neo-vygotskian concerns for the socio-cognitive development of higher psychological processes, and the socio-cultural approach of participative interactions within goal-directed activities. In this paper we offer some elements to implement designs around two on-going research lines in order to pay attention to quasi-experimental and observational studies. Firstly we present the task of liquid conservation assuming that a revisitation of this classical study could offer a possibility to consider the argumentation in children’s talk beyond Piaget’s logicism. The second line concerns an educational situation designed to observe learning through argumentation in classroom contexts; inspired by a piagetian task for studying physics quantities, a sequence is planned to offer students an educational setting to commit into argumentative interactions.

General Information

Keywords: design, argumentation, learning, conservation, physics, neo-vygotskian approach, neo-piagetian approach

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kohler A., Arcidiacono F. Elements of design for studying argumentation: the case of two on-going research lines. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2010. Vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 65–74. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Arcidiacono F., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (2009) Revisiting the piagetian test of conservation of quantities of liquid: argumentation within the adult-child interaction. Cultural-Historical Psychology, 3 (in press).
  2. Arcidiacono F., Pontecorvo C., Greco Morasso S. (2009) Family conversations: the relevance of context in evaluating argumentation. Studies in Communication Sciences, 9(2), 7-20.
  3. Asterhan C. S. C., Schwarz B. B. (2007) The effects of dialogical and monological argumentation on concept learning in evolutionary theory. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 626-639.
  4. Asterhan C. S. C., Schwarz B. B. (2009) Argumentation and explanation in conceptual change: indications from protocol analyses of peer-to-peer dialog. Cognitive Science, 33.
  5. Baker M. (1996) Argumentation et co-construction des connaissances. Interaction et Cognitions, 1(2-3.)
  6. Baker M. (2002) Argumentative interactions, discursive operations and learning to model in science. In P. Brna, M. Baker, K. Stenning, A. Tiberghien (Eds.) The role of communication in learning to model (pp. 303-324). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
  7. Baker M. (2003) Computer-mediated interactions for the co-elaboration of scientific notions. In J. Andriessens, M. Baker, D. Suthers (Eds.) Arguing to Learn: Confronting Cognitions in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments. Utrecht: Kluwer.
  8. Blanche-Benveniste C. (1997) Approches de la langue parlée en français. Paris: Ophrys.
  9. Bruner J. (1996) Frames for thinking: ways of making meaning. In D. Olson, N. Torrance (Eds.) Modes of thought: exploration in culture and cognition (pp. 93-105). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  10. Buchs C., Butera F. (2004) Socio-cognitive conflict and the role of student interaction in learning. New Review of Social Psychology, 3(1-2).
  11. Buty C., Plantin C. (Eds.) (2009) Argumenter en classe de sciences. Lyon: INRP.
  12. César M., Perret-Clermont A.-N., Benavente A. (2000) Modalités de travail en dyades et conduites à des tâches d’algèbre chez des élèves portugais. Revue suisse des sciences de l’éducation, 3, 443-466.
  13. Doise W., Mugny G., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (1975) Social interaction and the development of cognitive operations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 5.
  14. Doise W., Mugny G., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (1976) Social interaction and cognitive development: further evidence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 6.
  15. Driver R., Guesne E., Tiberghien A. (Eds.) (1985) Children’s ideas in science. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
  16. Driver R., Leach J., Millar R., Scott P. (1996) Young people’s images of science. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  17. Driver R., Newton P., Osborne J. (2000) Establishing the norms of scientific argumentation in classrooms. Science Education, 84(3), 287-312.
  18. Eemeren van F. H., Grootendorst R. (2004) A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical Account. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  19. Felton M., Kuhn D. (2001) The development of argumentative discourse skills. Discourse Processes, 32.
  20. Garduño T. (1997) La genèse d’une innovation pédagogique. Dossiers de Psychologie, 51.
  21. Giordan A., Girault Y., Clément P. (Eds.) (1994) Conceptions et connaissances. Bern: Lang.
  22. Grice H. P. (1979) Logique et conversation. Communications, 30(1), 57-72.
  23. Hundeide K. (1992) The message structure of some Piagetian experiments. In A. H. Wold (Ed.) The Dialogical Alternative. Towards a Theory of Language and Mind (pp. 139-156). Oslo: Scandinavian University Press.
  24. Johsua S., Dupin J.-J. (Eds.) (1989) Représentations et modélisations: le “débat scientifique” dans la classe et l’apprentissage de la physique. Bern: Lang.
  25. Kuhn D., Shaw V., Felton M. (1997) Effects of dyadic interaction on argumentative reasoning. Cognition and Instruction, 15(3).
  26. Kynigos C. (2007) Half-baked logo microworlds as boundary objects in integrated design. Informatics in Education, 6(2).
  27. Leitão S. (2000) The potential of argument in knowledge building. Human Development, 43.
  28. Lemeignan G., Weil-Barais A. (Eds.) (1993) Construire des concepts en physique: l’enseignement de la mécanique. Paris: Hachette.
  29. Levin I., Druyan S. (1993) When sociocognitive transaction among peers fails: the case of misconceptions in science. Child Development, 64, 1571-1591.
  30. Marro Clément P. (1999) Deux enfants, un problème technique, une solution: analyse interlocutoire de la construction interactive d’un raisonnement. Verbum, 21(2).
  31. Mugny G., Doise W., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (1981) Interpersonal coordinations and sociological differences in the construction of the intellect. In G. M. Stephenson, J. M. David (Eds.) Progress in Applied Social Psychology (pp. 315-344). New York: Wiley.
  32. Muller Mirza N., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (Eds.) (2009) Argumentation and Education. Theoretical Foundations and Practices. Nrew York: Springer. 
  33. Muller Mirza N., Tartas V., Perret-Clermont A.-N., de Pietro J.-F. (2007) Using graphical tools in a phased activity for enhancing dialogical skills: an example with Digalo. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2, 247-272.
  34. Osborne J., Erduran S., Simon S. (2004) Ideas, Evidence & Argument in Science. London: King’s College London.
  35. Perret-Clermont A.-N. (1979) La construction de l’intelligence dans l’interaction sociale. Bern: Lang (Eng. tr. Social interaction and cognitive development in children. London: Academic Press, 1980).
  36. Perret-Clermont A.-N. (2006) Comments on Rigotti and Rocci. Studies in Communication Sciences, 6(2).
  37. Perret-Clermont A.-N., Carugati F., Oates J. (2004) A socio-cognitive perspective on learning and cognitive development. In J. Oates, A. Grayson (Eds.) Cognitive and language development in children (pp. 305-332). Oxford: Blackwell.
  38. Perret-Clermont A.-N., Mugny G., Doise W. (1976) Une approche psychosociologique du développement cognitif. Archives de Psychologie, 171.
  39. Perret-Clermont A.-N., Nicolet M. (1988) Interagir et connaître. Enjeux et régulations sociales dans le développement cognitif. Cousset: Del Val.
  40. Piaget J. (1924) Le jugement et le raisonnement chez l’enfant. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Nietstlé.
  41. Piaget J. (1926) La représentation du monde chez l’enfant. Paris: PUF.
  42. Piaget J. (1965) Etudes sociologiques. Geneva: Droz.     
  43. Piaget J. (1974) Histoire et développement de la causalité. Raison Présente, 30, 5-20.
  44. Piaget J., Inhelder B. (1966) La psychologie de l’enfant. Paris: PUF.
  45. Piaget J., Szeminska A. (1941) La genèse du nombre. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Nietstlé.
  46. Psaltis C., Duveen G. (2006) Social relations and cognitive development: The influence of conversation type and representations of gender. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36.
  47. Rigotti E. (2006) Relevance of context-bound loci to topical potential in the argumentation stage. Argumentation, 20.
  48. Rigotti E., Greco Morasso S. (2009) Argumentation as an object of interest and as a social and cultural resource. In N. Muller Mirza, A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.) Argumentation and Education. Theoretical Foundations and Practices (pp. 9-66). New York: Springer.
  49. Rigotti E., Rocci E. (2006) Towards a definition of communication context. Foundations of an interdisciplinary approach to communication. Studies in Communication Sciences, 6(2).
  50. Schubauer-Leoni M. L., Perret-Clermont A.-N. (1997) Social interactions and mathematics learning. In P. Bryant, T. Nunes (Eds.) Learning and teaching mathematics. An international perspective (pp. 265-283). Hove: Psychology Press.
  51. Schwarz B. B. (2009) Argumentation and learning. In N. Muller Mirza, A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.) Argumentation and Education. Theoretical Foundations and Practices (pp. 91-126). New York: Springer.
  52. Schwarz B. B., Neuman Y., Biezuner S. (2000) Two wrongs may make a right...if they argue together! Cognition and Instruction, 18(4), 461-494.
  53. Schwarz B. B., Neuman Y., Gil J., Ilya M. (2003) Construction of collective and individual knowledge in argumentative activity. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 12(2).
  54. Tiberghien A., Malkoun L. (2007) Différenciation des pratiques d’enseignement et acquisitions des élèves du point de vue du savoir. Education et Didactique, 1, 29-54.
  55. Trognon A. (1999) Eléments d’analyse interlocutoire. In M. Gilly, J-P. Roux, A. Trognon (Eds.) Apprendre dans l'interaction: analyse des médiations sémiotiques (pp. 69-94). Nancy: Presses Universitaires.
  56. Trognon A., Saint-Dizier de Almeida V., Grossen M. (1999) Résolution conjointe d'un problème arithmétique. In M. Gilly, J.-P. Roux, A. Trognon (Eds.) Apprendre dans l'interaction: analyse des médiations sémiotiques (pp. 121-141). Nancy: Presses Universitaires.
  57. Viennot L. (Ed.) (1979) Le raisonnement spontané en dynamique élémentaire. Paris: Hermann.
  58. Viennot L. (1989) Obstacle épistémologique et raisonnement en physique: tendance au contournement des conflits chez les enseignants. In N. Bednarz, C. Garnier (Eds.) Construction des savoirs (pp. 117-129). Ottawa: ARC.
  59. Von Aufschnaiter C., Erduran S., Osborne J., Simon S. (2007) Arguing to learn and learning to argue: case studies of how students’ argumentation relates to their scientific knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(1).
  60. Vygotsky L. S. (1934) Myslenie i rec. Psichologiceskie issledovanija. Moskva-Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe Social’no-Ekonomiceskoe Izdatel’stvo (Engl. tr. Thought and Language. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1962).
  61. Walton D. (2006) Fundamentals of critical argumentation: critical reasoning and argumentation. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Information About the Authors

Alaric Kohler, PhD student, Institute of psychology and education, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchatel, Switzerland, e-mail: alaric.kohler@unine.ch

Francesco Arcidiacono, PhD, Professor at the Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Neuchatel, Neuchatel, Switzerland



Total: 2594
Previous month: 20
Current month: 4


Total: 566
Previous month: 1
Current month: 7