Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Swan


This dissertation includes three articles that focus on the importance of claim-making and argumentative writing in social studies classrooms. Each article highlights various aspects of the claim-making process by introducing ways for teachers to help students write better claims, highlighting the importance of claim-making within the extant social studies literature, and analyzing the results of centering the claim-making process in a preservice teaching methods program.

Article One, “What’s in a Claim: A Framework for Helping Students Write Persuasive Claims?” (2021), is an article written for practicing teachers. As part of a larger discussion on the challenges of implementing the dimensions of C3 (College, Career and Civic Life) Framework and incorporating the Inquiry Design Model (IDM) in social studies classrooms, this article attempts to assist teachers in improving the argumentative writing of their students. To meet these challenges the article introduces the Persuasive Claim Framework, a multi-dimensional model of claim writing. The Persuasive Claim Framework identifies a persuasive claim as an assertion that is supported with factual information and evidence from sources. Going further, the Framework identifies four dimensions of a persuasive claim: evidentiary, accurate, clear, and reasoned. Emerging from genuine problem of practice, the Framework centers on the challenges of claim-writing in the classroom, providing teachers with a new way of approaching argumentative writing, assessment, and teaching.

Article Two, “Teaching With and For Claim-Making: The Role of Claims in Social Studies Teaching,” represents a conceptual analysis of the role claims play both in traditional argumentation and social studies literature. The discipline of social studies has a long history of argumentation as part of its curricular goals. This emphasis on argumentation can be traced back to ancient Greece and the origins of democratic public discourse. In this extended essay, the author centers on the role of argumentation and specifically claim-making within the larger context of social studies education, inquiry-based learning, and social studies instruction. The author makes the case for a curricular approach that emphasizes teaching for claim making, borrowing from Parker and Hess’ (2001) conceptualization of teaching for discussion. The author concludes by identifying the Persuasive Claim Framework (Lewis, 2021) as a conceptual model to help teachers and students reorient their thinking and writing to meet the demands of democratic deliberation and argumentation.

Article Three, “Turning Student Teachers into Claim Makers: Developing the Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Novice Teachers with the Persuasive Claim Framework,” discusses the results of the use of the Persuasive Claim Framework as part of the master’s examination for a social studies methods preservice program. Using Shulman’s conception of pedagogical content knowledge (1986) and signature pedagogy (2005), this article documents the ways in which novice teachers develop classroom tasks as a way to coach their students in writing more persuasive claims. The results of this phenomenological study (Merriam 2001) demonstrate that novice teachers create increasingly complex tasks in their classrooms to meet the dimensional demands of the Persuasive Claim Framework. As a result, novice teachers showed growth in their own pedagogical content knowledge. To close, the article discusses both the advantages and important limitations of the Framework as part of a methods teaching program and makes recommendations on how the Framework can be used to assist novice teachers in becoming more effective social studies teachers.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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