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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

A Common Core Standard: "Critique the reasoning of others"

A Common Core Standard: "Critique the reasoning of others"

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I was reading about the NYC gap apps challenge which is aims to build skills in the 8 Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice: *Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them *Reason abstractly and quantitatively *Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others *Model with mathematics *Use appropriate tools strategically *Attend to precision *Look for and make use of structure *Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning Has anyone effectively found a way to have students "critique the reasoning of others" or is this something that's in the common core but not used in practice?

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Savio Rebelo's picture

I think the debate on Common Core School Standards between Politicians and Politicians, Politicians and Educators, Educators and Educators etc., keeps going on. However, everyone forgets to include the most important factor in the equation: Parents and Students. The adoption of the standards are going to impact students and parents the most, yet the recent findings of a Gallup poll showed a majority of US parents do not understand what Common Core School Standards are all about.

Debbie Ennist's picture

It seems to me education has become, more political
than being about the education of our children.

Ido Jamar's picture

One way to get students started "critiquing the reasoning of others" is to give students two scenarios, for example "juan thinks ... because; juanita disagrees, she thinks .... because" and then have students decide who they agree with and why, as well as identify what is wrong in the other student's reasoning. It works especially well when you identify a common misconception that students have, but one that is within their capacity to reason about.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

While I think the media is doing a generally horrible job at explaining common core, once I explain it to parents, they are generally receptive. And overall, I think we should never really cut students or parents out of these discussions. Education is not a widget you can pick up off the shelf, it's an ongoing process, and if teachers need and want support, they also need to make at least a small effort to make sure parents have an opportunity to know what's going on in the classroom, along with a few ideas to support and expand learning on the home front. After all, at least a portion of parents would love to help their children do better in school- why not look at that as having a "student" or "adjunct" teacher for the kids at home, and give them a few assignments every once in a while as well?

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

As to helping out with critiquing the reasoning of others- this can happen within a typical classroom discussion, especially when there are opportunities for more than one "right" answer. Instead of saying a simple "That's right!" try calling on another student and asking "What do you think of what Opal said? " As long as things are respectful, you get to hear divergent views while teaching kids to critique each other without being disagreeable- a skill we all need to learn :)

fatena's picture

PBLmakes the student think and support th sulution to the challenge or question..Using multimedia to clarify and illustrate te min points. It teaches students how to solve problems and become a successful manager as well as developing other skills.

Bon Crowder's picture
Bon Crowder
Math Mom & Education Advocate

I think we need to look at "critique" as "analyze."

To critique the reasoning of another argument, you have to first make some sort of sense of it.

So we ask students, "I say that 3 times 4 is 11. What might I have done to arrive at that number?"

Maybe I tried to line up 3 rows of 4 raisins and messed up my rows? Maybe I added 3+4+4? Maybe 3+3+4? There are all sorts of ways my brain could have engaged to get this wrong answer. Analyzing it helps understand not only what I did wrong, but where I could have done things differently to get the right answer.

And in fact, this is HUGE in practice. Especially as teachers when we have to figure out how on earth a student randomly inserted a 3 into the mix. But also, when you're in daily life and someone comes up with a mileage, dollar amount or weight that we can't tell why it's wrong, but we know something's "up" with it. We have to ponder how that other person arrived at that number. Why it's wrong. And what it would be to be right.

Most common example: You buy something at the store for about $20 and the total is $23.76. Why? (Happens to me all the time - with different numbers of course.)

Did they change the tax rate? Did my daughter sneak in a package of bubble gum? Or was there an added fee that I didn't consider? Or maybe the price was $21.95 and I was thinking, "Oh, only about 20 bucks..."

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