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Title
Are classroom discussions on controversial political issues in civic education lessons cognitively challenging? A closer look at discussions with assigned positions
Author GND-ID ORCID
SourceStudia Paedagogica 24 (2019) 4, S. 85-100 ZDB
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License of the document Lizenz-Logo 
Keywords (German)Argumentation; Politische Bildung; Kognitive Dissonanz; Unterrichtsqualität; Kognitive Leistung; Lernprozess; Diskussion; Unterricht; Argumentationstechnik; Lerntheorie; Gruppendiskussion; Schülerverhalten
sub-disciplineEmpirical Educational Research
Teaching Didactics/Teaching Social Science and Philosophy
Document typeArticle (journal)
ISSN1803-7437
LanguageEnglish
Year of creation
review statusPeer-Reviewed
Abstract (English):Discussing controversial political issues in class provides rich opportunities for cognitively activating learning processes, i.e. in-depth processing of learning content and higher-order thinking processes. However, relating the features of a given argumentative design to specific learning outcomes is a tricky endeavor, as this theoretical paper aims to illustrate through the example of a discussion with assigned positions (for/against) in civic education classes. The potential of such discussion settings for cognitive activation was examined by considering the features of the overall argumentative design, task configurations, and learning activities. More concretely, it is argued that controversial discussions with assigned positions constitute three different task configurations depending on the relationship between a student’s personal and assigned positions. Based on the ICAP framework for cognitive engagement, the paper further shows that students may take part in various modes of learning activities within a single instructional setting (although to different degrees). These findings point to the need to develop “more local” or “middle-range” theories of learning through argumentation. (DIPF/Orig.)
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Date of publication03.04.2020
Suggested CitationGronostay, Dorothee: Are classroom discussions on controversial political issues in civic education lessons cognitively challenging? A closer look at discussions with assigned positions - In: Studia Paedagogica 24 (2019) 4, S. 85-100 - URN: urn:nbn:de:0111-pedocs-190513
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