In this paper a set of methodological procedures to analyse students’ arguments is presented. Normative perspectives from the philosophy of science and naturalistic perspectives from sociolinguistics are brought together to analyse students dyadic discourse. The Toulmin layout of arguments was interpreted and applied to student arguments as they completed an electricity-based performance assessment. Results showed that in these contexts students could complete the task without warranting all arguments. Conditions leading to the warranted arguments are explored. The paper concludes by suggesting extensions of this methodology for further research in science education.
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