This study aimed to explore the patterns of college students' dialogic argumentation in the context of nanotechnology issues, and to compare these patterns based on their idiocentrism and allocentrism. Nanotechnology represents the characteristics of socioscientific issues in that it is widely used in various fields, but at the same time, it includes the likelihood of negative effects. 33 college students who enrolled in science-related course participated in this study. Participants were divided into idiocentric groups and allocentric groups based on the INDCOL scores, and they participated in group discussions on nanotechnology. All discussions were audiotaped and analyzed using the framework of discourse clusters and schemes. Results showed that participating students engaged in dialogic argumentation with the process of exchanging of individual perspectives, exploration of different perspectives, and coordination and negotiation; specifically, they spent most of their time in exploring different values and perspectives regarding nanotechnology. Results also indicated the differences in discourse clusters and discourse schemes between idiocentric and allocentric groups. Allocentric groups more often negotiated to settle on a group decision than idiocentric groups did, and discourse schemes in their negotiation process were slightly different from the ones in idiocentric groups.
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- Dialogic argumentation
- Discourse cluster and scheme
- Socioscientific issues