Announcing a Summer Workshop on Argument-Centered Instruction in the Chicago Suburbs

April 26, 2017 Les Lynn New Projects, News

Argument-Centered Education has been asked to provide a two-day workshop at Homewood-Flossmoor High School (999 Kedzie Ave., Flossmoor, IL), in the suburbs of Chicago this summer.  Taking place all day on July 27th and 28th, and part of Homewood-Flossmoor University, high school teachers from across the Chicago area (and beyond), and from across disciplines, are invited to register for the course, entitled

Become an ACE Teacher with Argument-Centered Education: A Cross-Disciplinary Framework for Construction and Supporting Academic Assertions

Registration for the course is only $100 for non-HF teachers.  Professional development certified credit will be provided.  The registration deadline is approaching, and the course is filling up, so register today at this site, and find out more information about more information on Homewood Flossmoor University at this site.

“We’re so pleased that Argument-Centered Education will be presenting at Homewood Flossmoor University this summer. We look forward to the training teachers will receive in teaching students to think, read, and write more critically, using argumentation across disciplines,” proclaimed Dr. Nancy Spaniak, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development for Homewood-Flossmoor District 233.

The course will be highly engaging and interactive, focused more on praxis than pedagogy, and as teachers will be working with their current curriculum and producing argumentalized, more critical thinking intensive, and more productive versions of it for use in SY2018, this course is recommended for all teachers at all experience levels with the use of argument in the classroom.

More details of the course objectives and sequenced agenda follow.

Course Objectives

1) Teachers will be introduced to and understand the most important cross-disciplinary forms and language of academic argument

2) Teachers will be given, and assimilate, an introduction to the pedagogy of argument-centered instruction: why and how it works to build critical thinking skills, improve literacy, and authentically prepare students for college

3) Teachers will work with models of argument-centered instruction in their discipline, acquiring a basic familiarity with these models through direct experience

4) Teachers will learn the five-step process of argumentalizing instruction, and will leave with a developed, specific argumentalization of a first-quarter lesson, activity, project, or assessment

Course Sequence

This two-day course is organized into four sequenced programs.

Experiencing Argument-Centered Pedagogy Through Initial Praxis

We will begin with a SPontaneous ARgumentation (SPAR) Debate Activity on the issue of whether public college in the United States should be free (an issue chosen to be accessible, relevant to all secondary teachers, and of broad interest).  Through this practical, engaging opening of the workshop, teachers will be introduced to the foundational pillars of argument-centered pedagogy: the standard of evidence and the standard of responsiveness.  In an argument-centered classroom, all views, claims, conclusions, solutions, assertions have to be supported by aligned, credible, sufficient, and reasoned evidence.  And all arguments are made in relation and response to other arguments, either explicitly made (as in a classroom debate) or implied or hypothetically referenced (as in argument writing when responding to interpolated counter-arguments).

Exploring, Reflecting on, and Discussing Argument-Centered Pedagogy

We will take a journey through the theoretical basis for using argument to organize and elevate instruction, across disciplines.  We will contrast it with other ways of teaching, identifying areas in which it excels.  We will work through its close connections to the new SAT and other national assessments and standards.  And we will engage in reflection and discussion on these pedagogical components, and their relationship to current H-F instructional strategies and practices.

Application of Argument-Centered Instruction Through Resource Models

We will work with a set of argument-centered instructional models that will be selected to correspond with courses taught by participating teachers.  Teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to use these models through engaging, hands-on exercise and classroom simulations.  We will reflect on the strengths and limitations of each resource model.

Argumentalizing Instruction

We will focus here on putting into use the professional learning that we have done through the first three programs.  Teachers will learn the five step process to argumentalize their own instruction.  They will respond to a survey on how they use argument and what sites they see for further argumentalization.  Teachers will conclude the workshop by outlining and developing one argumentalized first quarter lesson, activity, project, or assessment.  From these curriculum samples we will generate discussion and feedback from the collective.