18 Sep

ACE Invited to Present at Fall 2017 IATE Conference

Les Lynn New Projects, News

Argument-Centered Education has been asked to present at the Fall 2017 Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) conference in Bloomington-Normal in late October.  The title of Argument-Centered Education’s talk is

Re-imagining literacy instruction through academic argument: Using controversies and debates to inspire our students and ourselves every day

The theme of conference — with which our talk will accord — is Re-Imagine: Our Passion, Our Practice, Our Profession. 


13 Sep

Returning Mini-Lessons, Retrieval Practice, & Critical Thinking

Les Lynn Assessment, The Debatifier

One of our partner school’s English classes are using informational texts right now to conduct classroom debates on transgender troops and North Korean nuclearization.  In a lesson modeling arguments to support positions on these issues, a student built an argument that banning transgender troops would weaken the U.S. military by shrinking it.  The student had evidence from the New York Times Upfront Magazine on the number of transgender troops currently serving.  She didn’t have much in the way of reasoning in her model.  So we had all the students perform a quick-write to supply the missing reasoning.  We looked at a couple of student samples, using a document camera, comparing their strengths and weaknesses, and ending with a synthesized model of reasoning.


12 Sep

NGSS-Aligned Professional Development Workshop on Argument & Scientific Reasoning

Les Lynn New Projects, News

Argument-Centered Education is conducting a Next Generation Science Standards aligned professional development workshop for middle and secondary school science teachers in Chicago, titled

Infusing Argument into Lab Reports, Science Exhibits, and Scientific Reasoning Assessments

The event will be hosted by Whitney Young Magnet High School (211 S. Laflin Ave.) on Saturday, October 21st, from 9am – 11am.  It is being sponsored by the Chicago Public Schools Office of Teaching and Learning. 


09 Sep

Arguing about Ancient Chinese Philosophy — the Confucianism vs. Daoism Project

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

We worked recently with a partner school’s Global Studies course and their Ancient China unit.  The outcome: an argument-based small group discussion project on Confucianism and Daoism.

The post below includes resources which focus on the way that arguments can be made about the desirability of certain systems of thought and the values they inscript. The project also uses a format of discussion that is looser and less rules-based than a debate (though, of course, rules have their utility and place, when striving to reach certain levels of rigor in a scaffolded academic setting). Finally, this project is an example of the way that an argument-centered approach has the agility to incorporate varied curricular resources — in this instance, some SHEG (Stanford History Education Group) document excerpts and background information.