University of Oulu

Härmä, K.; Kärkkäinen, S.; Jeronen, E. The Dramatic Arc in the Development of Argumentation Skills of Upper Secondary School Students in Geography Education. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 734.

The dramatic arc in the development of argumentation skills of upper secondary school students in geography education

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Author: Härmä, Kimmo1; Kärkkäinen, Sirpa1; Jeronen, Eila2,3,4
Organizations: 1School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistokatu 7, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland
2Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
4Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, FI-96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-22


Geography education can facilitate learners’ critical thinking and argumentation skills to make well-reasoned decisions on social and environmental issues. This study reports on a geography course consisting of 18 lessons, each of them 75 min, designed to afford intensive practice in argumentation to upper secondary school students (n = 21) and following the dramatic arc. The study produces examples of different developmental pathways of upper secondary school students’ argumentation during the geography course. In this qualitative case study, the data were collected from learning diaries and analyzed using content analysis following ARRA-analysis (Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetorics and Argumentation), which is based on Toulmin’s argumentation model. The results indicated that most of the students developed justified arguments and composed clear claims and relevant rhetorical modes such as qualifications, rhetorical questions and rebuttals. Justification categories that were mainly used were backings, grounds and warrants. However, some students had difficulties in recognizing the main claim and arguments. The students developed their argumentation skills following the dramatic arc. They possessed the prerequisites for argumentative reasoning and writing but needed further practice in analytical and critical writing.

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Series: Education sciences
ISSN: 2227-7102
ISSN-E: 2227-7102
ISSN-L: 2227-7102
Volume: 11
Issue: 11
Article number: 734
DOI: 10.3390/educsci11110734
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (