Commentary on the chapters by Baker and Asterhan and Schwarz through the lens of commognition
The two bodies of work presented in the last two chapters are unified by the assumption that a dialogue in which interlocutors confront, explain, defend and modify their views is highly conducive to learning. Inspired by this assumption, I will now try to engage Michael, Christa and Baruch in the very activity on which they themselves focus in their studies: I will invite them to dialectic argumentation on their own ideas. More specifically, I will take a constructively critical look at this research, trying to find out what it has already achieved and what it yet needs to deliver. To make it into a truly dialectic argumentative exercise, I will discuss the epistemic status of the researchers’ interpretations, expressing my agreement with some of them and challenging some others. My main claim will be that the discourse on argumentation, developed as it is, is in need of operationalization. I will follow with a proposal of such a discourse and will then ask whether the change in the way of talking brings any new insights about their data and whether it is likely to have an impact on pedagogy.