This study investigated the influence of requiring elementary students to participate in a detective role-playing game, within which students had to be for or against a controversial issue. Three intact sixth grade classes (N = 94) participated in this study. One class of students was asked to search for supporting evidence for one side of an online ethics dilemma and to create convincing arguments (pro), while another searched for opposing evidence (con). The third other class searched for both supporting and opposing evidence (balanced). A one-way multivariate analysis of covariance shows that the balanced role-play strategy had a notable positive impact on the students’ ability to construct cogent arguments.
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