Argumentation has become an increasingly recognized focus for science instruction---as a learning process, as an outcome associated with the appropriation of scientific discourse, and as a window onto the epistemic work of science. Only a small set of theoretical conceptualizations of argumentation have been deployed and investigated in science education, however, while a plethora of conceptualizations have been developed in the interdisciplinary fields associated with science studies and the learning sciences. This paper attempts to review a range of such theoretical conceptualizations of argumentation and discuss the possible implications for the orchestration of science education; the goal being that the science education research community might consider a broader range of argumentation forms and roles in conjunction with the learning of science. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed92:473–493, 2008