Table of Contents

Unit 3: Reasoning and Explaining (MP2 and MP3)

3.2.1 Levels of Explanations: Level 1

There are three levels of explanations as students build toward justification. The hierarchy progresses in the following sequence:

  • Level 1:     Abdicating reasoning to an external authority
  • Level 2:     Systematically working through multiple examples
  • Level 3:     Beginning to notice patterns or trends

The ability to identify patterns is what allows students to ponder if something will always work and make generalizations. As you observe the following videos, student work, and transcripts consider how to successfully move students through the levels of explanation.


Explanations: External Authority (Level 1 )

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The interview below reveals an interesting take on the first level of explanations; deferring to an external authority. As you watch the video, think about how attributing thinking to someone else impacts student learning.

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Lorena challenges her parents who are deferring to an external authority — “I know because the teacher told me.”