Home    # ÅëëçíéêÜ    # English     


Enhancing SCience Appeal in Learning through Argumentative inTEraction, ESCALATE

Promoting young people’s interest in science, science education and scientific careers

European Community, Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6), Science and Society, Project No. 020790, 2006-2007



Title: Enhancing SCience Appeal in Learning through Argumentative inTEraction (ESCALATE)

Funding: European Community, Sixth Framework Programme, Structuring the European Research Area, Science and Society, Project No. 020790, 2006-2007.

Coordinator: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI)

Consortium: Institute of Psychology - University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), Institute of Education - University of London (UK), National & Kapodistrian University of Athens - Educational Technology Lab (Greece), Talent S.A (Greece), Université de Toulouse II - Le Mirail - Cognition, Communication & Development (France).


Argumentation-Based (A-B) learning environments have seen a growing recognition in recent years. These had an affect on the understanding and design of learning and teaching in different disciplines. Science education, in particular, is gradually abandoning role concept learning and moving towards learning through argumentative reasoning and argumentative communication. Such activities are often ICT-mediated; an example is “our” DUNES environment (IST-2001-34153). Science Education also favors an enquiry-based (E-B) approach where students can experiment with and create artifacts and models for scientific work. An example is “our” LeGa project (GSRT-03-26) constituting a 3-d modeler for students to experiment and express ideas. Following latest research -showing that engagement in experimenting and arguing (i.e. both A-B and E-B is a key contribution for science learning– and based on the results of our previous R&D work, ESCALATE intended to:

  1. Implement our approach to science learning and teaching, through the design of learning environments, by means of state-of-the-art of argumentation-based methods and tools, especially the ones developed in the DUNES project;

  2. Use technological tools – mainly “Microworlds”- designed to enhance science learning environments and by which students engage in representation, construction and experimentation with digital artefacts;

  3. Conduct the implementation of (1) and (2) in parallel pilot studies/trials in schools and in informal science learning environments in 5 countries: France, Greece, Israel, Switzerland and UK;

  4. Create a "critical mass" of teachers capable of maintaining the implementation beyond the Project's life;

  5. Prepare a comprehensive volume (The White Book) describing the experience, compiling and analyzing all the data gathered and issuing recommendations to guide similar initiatives; and

  6. Operationally disseminate the results, mainly through the Kaleidoscope NoE (IST-FP6-507838).

ETL's Activities:

In the Escalate Project, ETL has mainly worked in:

  • Designing “cases” to support learning activities featuring argumentative discourse in science;

  • Designing computer-based educational scenarios to support enquiry-based learning combined with argumentative discourse in science;

  • Designing and developing microworlds to support science learning and advising partners in developing such environments;

  • Forming and training a Teacher's Community to design, animate & evaluate A&E-B activities in classrooms;

  • Conducting pilot studies in schools with students and inside the Teacher's Community;

  • Carrying out dissemination activities within the Kaleidoscope Network.