13 Oct

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Taxonomy and Argumentation

Les Lynn Argument and Literacy, Argument and Math, Argument and Science, Argumentative Writing, Professional Capacity Development, The Debatifier
One of the ruts that we can fall into as educators is to live for an extended span of time in work that asks students to produce lower-order thinking and to communicate their understanding of the skills and content that we’re teaching with very limited depth.  Some of the teachers I’ve talked with recently have worried that they have had students working on lower-order thinking assignments excessively — either the full class, or most of the students, while a few worked on something higher-order.  In University of Wisconsin Education School professor Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge taxonomy, it is Level 1 in which students spend an extended duration of time when we get off our game.

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28 Apr

Having Kittens, Exponential Growth, and Evaluative Arguments

Les Lynn Argument and Math, Resources, The Debatifier

Argument-Centered Education works to argumentalize curriculum that teachers and schools are committed to teaching and using.  We approach our work this way because on the basis of two fundamental convictions.

Capacity and expertise transfer is best done from the inside, not the outside

We aim to build teachers’ and schools’ permanent capacity to organize their own instruction around critical thinking and argument.  Curriculum that gets imported into schools is often unused after an initiative is offer.  And even if it continues to be used, it can be compartmentlized as the “critical thinking resource” or the “argument project.”  Working with teachers’ own curriculum illustrates in the most resonant way for teachers who argument can be integrated throughout their practice.

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28 Mar

Argument-Based Math Talks

Les Lynn Argument and Math, Resources, The Debatifier

Overview

Math Talks have become a go-to routine for many math teachers in their response to the new wave of math standards that call for a much greater emphasis on requiring students to justify their solutions, to communicate their mathematical reasoning, to make arguments with math, and to think critically about the mathematical reasoning and arguments of others.

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30 Jan

Should High School Students Be Required to Take Algebra? Debating the Matter in Class Using SPontaneous ARgumentation

Les Lynn Argument and Math, Professional Capacity Development, Resources, The Debatifier

A debate has broken out over the past few years in (and beyond) education circles over whether algebra should be a high school graduation requirement.  The controversy in its current iteration was fueled when the Common Core elevated algebra to a privileged position in secondary math education.  Then Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the case for the standards’ commitment to algebra in a 2011 speech to the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics.

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear to the country — not just to you guys as teachers — that algebra is a key, maybe the key, to success in college. Students who have completed Algebra II in high school are twice as likely to earn a degree as those who didn’t. Algebra teaches students reasoning and logic leading to academic success not just in math but across the curriculum.

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11 Jan

The Stock Market Sector Scuffle — Teaching Financial Literacy Through Argumentation

Les Lynn Argument and Literacy, Argument and Math, Resources, The Debatifier

Overview

The Stock Market Sector Scuffle teaches math-based financial literacy using a real-world scenario in which students have to produce and analyze a financial data set in order to build arguments to convince “investors” that their sector-based stock portfolio holds the greatest promise of financial returns. 

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