Argumentation for Learning: Well-Trodden Paths and Unexplored Territories

Christa S.C. Asterhan*, Baruch B. Schwarz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


There is increasing consensus among psycho-educational scholars about argumentation as a means to improve student knowledge and understanding of subject matter. In this article, we argue that, notwithstanding a strong theoretical rationale, causal evidence is not abundant, definitions of the objects of study (argumentation, learning) are often not well defined, and the variance in research methods is large. We argue that we systematically review the available research evidence by mapping it on the Argumentation For Learning research framework, which specifies the different antecedents, dialogue characteristics, and learning outcomes of argumentation. In doing so, we identify claims that are supported with substantive empirical evidence and demonstrate which questions are still open to further empirical examination. We also uncover several promising, relatively unexplored venues for future research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)164-187
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Copyright © Division 15, American Psychological Association.


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