What would it look like if I tried to do standards-based grading in my inquiry course? That’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot. Here’s a quick rough draft of some more precise learning goals.
I. Your Own Thinking
I reflect upon my own experiences and explore my own thinking as sources for possible ideas about how the world works.
I articulate my own thinking and ideas about phenomena in clear and specific ways that help others to understand them.
I ask questions about how the world works and document those questions as they arise
I express my ideas and thinking through drawings, sketches, diagrams, graphs, etc.
I seek out evidence to support claims that I make, and use evidence or examples to support or refute claims.
I go beyond just citing evidence by providing the rationale that explains why evidence either supports or refutes claims.
I attend to the implications of my own ideas and articulate how those implications lead me to make certain conclusions or predictions
In the face of evidence that run counter to my ideas, I return to my ideas to ask questions and reconsider my thinking.
I develop explanations that tell a gapless story that detail exactly how specific conditions give rise to certain outcomes.
I return to and follow up on questions I have had and continue to have
I monitor how my ideas and thinking change over time and compare and contrast ideas I had at different times
I look for inconsistencies among the various ideas I have and compare and contrast competing ideas I have
I explain things that are confusing to me in ways that help others understand exactly where my confusion lies.
II. Others’ Thinking
I listen to my peers as source for ideas about how the world works.
When I don’t understand someone else’s idea, I inquire either by asking questions, trying to summarize what I thought they said, etc.
When I understand others’ ideas, I show my understanding of those ideas by writing or talking about them
When I understand another person’ ideas, I follow the logical implications of those idea (even when I disagree)
When I disagree with an idea, I provide a critical perspective toward this idea by constructing counter-arguments, citing contradictory evidence, or finding the flaw in some reasoning or premise.
I construct plausible counter-arguments by attending to others’ ideas or thinking through their implications
I respond to counter-arguments by attending to the argument itself–perhaps by attending to some inconsistency in the reasoning or the faultiness of some premise.
III. Accountability to Community Norms
I can think and reason in ways that are consistent with our class’ foothold ideas
When my thinking departs from our class’ foothold ideas, I recognize this to be the case and point it out.
Things left out so far:
Distinguishing Observations vs. Inferences?
Designing an experiment? Tinkering?
Careful construction of diagrams?
Organization of writing?
Constructing clear definitions?
Clarity of writing?
I-Creating ideas – 3: not sure about this one. You want them to document but is it a standard. I think about study/learning skills I want my students to develop. I figure if having those enables better results on the rest of the standards, I don’t need to make it a standard by itself.
I-Developing Ideas-1&2: could these be combined?
I-Developing Ideas-4: does this assume that counter evidence will happen often enough? My guess is that it does, just asking.
I-Monitoring Ideas-1: similar to my first comment above
I-Monitoring Ideas-4: how will you measure whether the explanations help others?
II-1 what would the evidence of this be? Should they not only listen but also cite?
II-2 this one seems holistic, something you would gauge over a semester. Seems fine to me that way, but are you thinking of assessing this often?
II-5: do they have to do that every time they disagree or just when they speak up?
Things left out:
I think the expt design is important to get in there. As for the writing ones, how important is writing in the class? I think the diagram one is already embedded in a couple.
Thanks for letting us chime in at this early stage. How likely is it that you’d pursue this?
Thanks for the feedback! The next step is certainly to start collapsing standards and to think carefully about how I would assess them.
So there are three “big” things in my class: notebooks where students are writing about investigations and discussions in class (and possibly at home); hw where students are asked to reflect upon and construct more careful arguments about what happened in class or to think about some new situation related to what’s happening in class; and there are tests where students are more closely held accountable to classroom ideas through writing about a situation; usually involving a process of predictions, observing, and resolving something with their research group.
I’m convinced that this class needs it. I need to better articulated goals (Step 1), I want to better communicate with my students about what I am looking for, and I want to get talk of percentages and points out of the classroom.