Building Content Knowledge Requires Effective Reading Essay

1003 Words Apr 8th, 2015 5 Pages
Nina, I like your idea about providing documents that reflect only one point of view and asking students to take the other side. I will try that in my class. Thanks!
This back and forth between Stan, Harry, and Philip captures the depth of a conversation that might happen in a department professional development session between colleagues that have worked together for years; however, this was an asynchronous conversation between two Ohio teachers and a California teacher whom have never met.
I am curious about others ' opinions on how to best address the challenge of building enough content to allow students to write with authority on a topic. In other words, without content knowledge, students will have only shallow judgments to Suspend, little sense of what side to Take, few ideas to Organize and ultimately a half-baked Plan in place before they write. Building content knowledge requires effective reading, note-taking and research practices; all of which must be introduced, modeled and practiced beforehand. To imply that good historical writing can happen without them is to overlook half of the challenge.
Stan, I agree with your line of inquiry: how do we build the essential skills needed? I think, that by the time students get to high school, it may be largely too late, or certainly very inefficient, to undo all the previously done damage and instill a new set of skills and attitudes while simultaneously delivering the curriculum. It is a challenge.

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