Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology, Leadership, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

E. Michael Nussbaum

Second Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Third Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Fourth Committee Member

Hasan Deniz

Number of Pages



To remain competitive in an innovative world, American classrooms are promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by utilizing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students are engaged in inquiry by applying scientific practices like argumentation. However, science teachers are finding it difficult to respond to, as well as deepen students’ argumentative conversations. Therefore, research must uncover what instructional practices (or combinations) are used to overcome classroom obstacles, along with fostering students’ discourse and sensemaking. A teacher research approach was taken to investigate how the researcher, a secondary science teacher herself, effectively combines three under-researched instructional practices for classroom argumentation: facet-based assessments, critical questions (CQs), and lessons framed with the 5E instructional model. Convergent mixed methods were used to analyze students’ argumentative discourse and academic growth. The results revealed how the use of CQs transforms 5E instruction and impacts students’ facets of science. These conclusions may help create a better support system, providing models for other teachers facilitating classroom argumentation in science classrooms.


5E Instructional Model; Argumentation; Critical Questions; Facet-based Assessments; Mixed Methods; Teacher Research


Education | Science and Mathematics Education

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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