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Appropriation comprises the kind of thinking needed to take source materials and adapt them for specific purposes, rather than merely regurgitate them. As such, it always involves interpretation that is willing to reconceptualize what the source communicates, not just replicate the original conception. For instance, it might involve taking the information presented in a source and recoding it mentally in terms of an entirely different set of categories. The hypothesized development of these skills is presented in Development Table 14.

Appropriation strategies include strategies for translating from one mode of representation to another (such as visual to verbal), strategies for selecting and rearranging materials in terms of how they contribute to a pre-existing framework, and strategies for note-taking and paraphrasing in support of critical thinking, by making explicit connections that are not explicit in the source materials. This class of strategies corresponds roughly to Reading Standard 7 and Writing Standard 9 from the Common Core State Standards.

The following standard from the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards also draws upon appropriation strategies:
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Literature Note - Appropriation

Development Table 14. Hypotheses about the Development of Appropriation Skills

Level
Interpretation
Deliberation
Expression
Preliminary
(oral to sentence)
When presented with a new fact or statement, can integrate it with prior knowledge (in the same or another modality) to elaborate one’s mental models of the physical and social world.
Can apply active inference strategies that draw out the implications of a particular fact when it is combined with what one already knows.
Can produce interpretive statements that describe a piece of information in the light of its implications and connections with existing knowledge.
Foundational
(sentence to paragraph)
Can evaluate whether a new piece of information is important or unimportant, surprising or expected, and consistent or inconsistent with what one already knows.
Can integrate new information with old to build a richer combined picture.
Can apply filtering strategies that select information for further analysis only if it is important, surprising, or inconsistent on the basis of prior knowledge.
Can produce paragraph-length discussions that evaluate new information in the light of its probable importance, novelty and fit with prior knowledge, or which use familiar or salient representations communicate information about unfamiliar or hard-to-understand content.
Basic
(paragraph to text)
Can recognize common information and mutual relevance when information is presented in different modes, such as different communication mediums, different formats (text, graphics, multimedia) or is presented in very different words or categories.
Can apply recoding strategies that translate information from one mode of representation to another and recast it so that it can easily be integrated with prior knowledge (or to make information easier to process or problems easier to solve.)
Can produce notes and digests that do more than merely summarize information from sources, because they recast it in terms of the opinions, perspectives, categories and language most familiar and accessible to the author.
Intermediate
(text to context)
Can recognize points of agreement and mutually shared knowledge even when the source texts are written from fundamentally different perspectives.
Can apply recasting strategies that take an audience’s knowledge and point of view into account, and translate information into terms and categories appropriate to that audience.
Can produce reviews that do more than merely summarize information from sources, because they recast it in terms that express the perspective and evaluations of the author while being put into terms and categories intended to make the information most accessible to the audience.
Advanced
(text and context to discourse)
Can draw on a wide range of canonical source texts, including classic literature and important historical documents to provide points of reference when interpreting and recasting the information from other texts.
Can apply exemplar-based strategies in which one considers how information from a particular source or collection of sources would be viewed by a particular character, historical figure, or exponent of an influential theory or position.
Can produce discussions which consider and evaluate information from sources from multiple perspectives.



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