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
Argument-Centered Education conducts periodic interviews with leading educator-practitioners of argument-centered instruction. This short video interview of Donna Lawrenz, a veteran educator of 7th grade language and literature at Peirce International School, is linked to her photo, and edited and condensed in the excerpt underneath. Ms. Lawrenz has been working with Argument-Centered Education for two years.
Excerpted Interview of Argument-Centered Educator Donna Lawrenz
Q. How is Peirce International School using argument-centered instruction?
Chicago Public Schools Endorses Argument-Centered Education to Support Schools’ Transition to the New SAT
The nation’s third largest school district, Chicago Public Schools, has endorsed Argument-Centered Education as an organization whose work helps schools authentically prepare their students for newly redesigned SAT college readiness and admissions exam. In its 2017 guidebook, used by all 660 schools in the CPS system, Transitioning to the SAT Suite of Assessments, the CPS Office of Teaching and Learning singles out Argument-Centered Education as a national organization endorsed to support schools in their shift to greater emphasis on higher-order learning, critical thinking, and argumentation.
Argument-Centered Education will be offering two full days of professional development workshops on July 20th and 21st, sponsored by the Chicago Public Schools Department of Social Science and Civic Engagement, free to all CPS teachers. Running from 8:30am – 3:00pm, at the Garfield Park CPS offices (2651 W. Washington Blvd.), professional development credit will be issued by the Illinois State Board of Education and CPS for participating teachers.
For a look into a fully argument-centered classroom, click on the video below. You’ll view a 7th grade reading class at Peirce International School, taught by Donna Lawrenz, as they conduct table debates on young adult novels. The texts — Lord of the Flies, Camp, and The Goat — were selected and assigned by Ms. Lawrenz for their lexile levels, literary merit, and the interest they elicit in students (and teacher!).
Table debates are organized around a higher-order arguable issue on each novel — for example: Does Lord of the Flies express the view that human beings are too primal and animalistic to sustain orderly civilization? Debated (well) by 7th graders.
Peirce is in the second year of its partnership with Argument-Centered Education. What you can see in its argument-centered classrooms are several academic performance-producing elements:
- Full-class, energetic involvement
- Ease with text-based argumentation
- Refutation and the critical thinking it activates, tracked by students (difficult and unusual but essential)
- High expectations for all
- Results of teacher capacity-building
For additional views of argument-centered classrooms, take a look at the videos toward the bottom of this page.