of Reasoning, Rhetoric and Argumentation (ARRA)
Both science and democracy are based
on reasoning, reasoned argumentation and reasoned rhetorical persuasion
based on evidence and justifications. However most textbooks are
very dogmatic collections of claims about the World. In order to
show this explicitly and to promote writing of better educational
texts I developed 'Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetoric and Argumentation'
(ARRA) (Åhlberg 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998a - 1998c). Originally
I started to develop it from ideas presented by Toulmin (1958).
There is continually R&D work going on for testing and improving
ARRA and to apply it new fields. ARRA is nowadays a quality tool
for monitoring and promoting quality of reasoning, rhetoric and
The basic categories of ARRA are
in the Table 1.
The basic categories of the improved argumentation analysis
(Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetoric and Argumentation, or shortly ARRA).
of the code
about the world.
for any claim.
- concrete, observable evidence or justifications for any other
category or part of reasoning, e.g. texts, figures etc.
- abstract justifications for any other category or part of
reasoning, values, theories
concerning frequency or probability of claims or a part of reasoning,
e.g. ‘always’, ‘often’, ‘perhaps’ etc.
are constrictions of claims or a part of reasoning, type of
‘ Yes, unless …’.
or proper question for which an answer is expected.
question for which no answer is expected.
For demonstartion purposes I have written an text to be analysed.
It is based on a real journal article. The text is in the
quotation marks and the codes of ARRA are in brackets:
the quality of global environment continually got worse or
has it improved during the last decades? [pq1] According
to Bjorn Lomborg (2001) [W1] it has improved [C1].
According to an article in
the journal Ecologist , written by Mark Lynas (2003) [W2]
the quality of global environment has become worse [C2]. The
title of his article is ‘Natural Bjorn killer’[C3, e1].
The writer is attacking strongly
Bjorn Lomborg personally[C4], he e.g. splashed a cream cake
to Lomborg’s face[e2], a photograph is shown how Lomborg looked
after the incidence[C5]. The
differences of their claims (opinions) are questions that
only later empirical research can answer[C6]. It
is evident that modern knowledge societies are in many ways
unsustainable[C7] (Lomborg 2001, Lynas 2003)[W1, W2].
If we want sustainable societies[B1],
better environment[B2] and higher quality of life[B3][G1],
then we ought to always [Q1] in every possible ways to promote
learning, thinking and acting for sustainable development
[C8]. Unless we think
that the things are not so bad after all [R1]. Why bother?[rq1]
Or unless we think that there
is no hope of survival of humankind any more[R2]. Why
bother?[rq1] A critical
scientific realist admits that there are plenty to do for
continual improvement of all human processes to promote sustainable
development, including education for sustainable development
structure of argumentation is as follows in the Figure 1:
The argumentation structure of the text presented in Table
Åhlberg, M. 1991. Concept mapping,
concept matrices, link tables and argumentation analysis as techniques
for educational research on textbooks and educational discourse
and as tools for teachers and their pupils in their everyday work.
In Julkunen, M.-L., Selander, S. & Åhlberg, M. 1991. Research
on texts at school. University of Joensuu. Research Reports of the
Faculty of Education N:o 37, 89 - 154.
Åhlberg, M, 1993. Concept maps,
Vee diagrams and Rhetorical Argumentation (RA) Analysis: Three educational
theory-based tools to facilitate meaningful learning. Paper presented
at The Third International Seminar on Misconceptions in Science
and Mathematics. August 1- 5, 1993. Cornell University. Published
digitally in the Proceedings of the Seminar, http://www.mlrg.org/proc3abstracts.html
(Read 26 2. 2003.)
Åhlberg, M. 1996. Tutkiva opettaja
oman teoriansa kehittäjänä ja testaajana. [Inquiring
teachers as developers and testers of their own theories]. In Ojanen,
S. (toim.) Tutkiva opettaja 2. Helsingin yliopiston Lahden tutkimus-
ja täydennyskoulutuskeskus, 71-86.
Åhlberg, M. 1998a. Kestävän
kehityksen pedagogiikka ja yleisdidaktiikka. University of Joensuu.
Bulletins of the Faculty of Education. N:o 71.
Åhlberg, M. 1998b. Ecopedagogy
and ecodidactics: Education for Sustainable Development, Good Environment
and Good Life. University of Joensuu. Bulletins of the Faculty of
Education. N:o 69.
Åhlberg, M. 1998c. Education
for sustainability, good environment and good life. In Åhlberg,
M. & Leal Filho, W. (Eds.) 1998. Environmental education for
sustainability: good environment, good life. Frankfurt am Main:
Peter Lang, 25 - 43.
Lomborg, B. 2001. The Skeptical Environmentalist:
Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Lynas, M. 2003. Natural Bjorn killer.
Ecologist 33(2), 26 -29.
Toulmin, S. 1958. Uses of argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University
I have presented two other improved metacognitive tools: Improved
Improved Vee Heuristics and
ARRA or Analysis
of Reasoning, Rhetorics and Argumentation,
rhetoric and argumentation, better quality of learning, thinking,