Argumentation, socio-cognitive conflict and learning


In the context of our ARC project MOOCresearch2.0: A mixed-method and multidisciplinary approach to socio-cognitive conflicts in online educational platforms, we have the pleasure to welcome Prof. Christa Asterhan to present her work on Argumentation, socio-cognitive conflict and learning: Explorations into social, motivational and affective dimensions and processes.


Who is the speaker?

Prof. Asterhan is an associate professor at the Seymour (Shlomo) Fox School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She explores the cognitive and social dimensions of learning through human interaction using a multidisciplinary and multi-method approach. In her research, Prof. Asterhan combines controlled experiments, detailed dialogue analyses and self-report data collection methods. Her research is informed by theories from cognitive science, social psychology, communication, and developmental psychology. Prof. Asterhan's research interests are in group learning, argumentation, teacher support of learning dialogues, conceptual change, teacher pedagogical reasoning, computer-mediated communication and teacher learning in school-based communities.


What will the talk be about?

Research on dialogue and argumentation has produced strong evidence that certain forms of collaborative sense-making have cognitive benefits, both in terms of learning and of development. However, it remains challenging to elicit and sustain student participation in argumentation that is both critical, as well as constructive. Values, motivational goals, interpersonal dynamics, expectations and emotion can affect students’ willingness to participate in dialogue, as well as impact the way in which they choose to do so. Scholars have then begun to explore the social, affective and motivational dimensions of learning through argumentation. In this talk, Prof. Asterhan will present findings from an ongoing line of research that combines different methodologies to explore such non-cognitive dimensions, in the specific case of peer-to-peer argumentation for learning counterintuitive scientific concepts (conceptual change).


Publications on the topic:

Asterhan, C. & Schwarz, B. (2016).Argumentation for learning: Well-trodden paths and unexplored territories. Educational Psychologist51(2), 164-187.

Asterhan, C. & Schwarz, B. (2010).Argumentation and reasoning. In K. Littleton, C. Wood, & J. Kleine Staarman (Eds). International Handbook of Psychology in Education (pp. 137-176) . Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. 

Asterhan, C. & Schwarz, B. (2009). Argumentation and explanation in conceptual change: Indications from protocol analyses of peer-to-peer dialog. Cognitive Science, 33: 374-400.



This event is organised by the members of the ARC project with the support of:

  • The Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socialisation, Education, and Training (GIRSEF),  
  • The Louvain Research Institute in Management and Organizations (LOURIM) and,
  • The Institut for Language and Communication (ILC).

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Published on May 08, 2022