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Overview of Argumentation Learning Progressions

Taking a Position
Reasons and Evidence
Framing a Case
1. Understands the idea of trying to convince someone by making some sort of persuasive appeal
1. Understands the idea of taking a side in an argument and accepting or rejecting another person’s statements as true or false based on how well one thinks it fits the facts
1. Understands the idea that positions may need to be supported with reasons that will be convincing to the audience
1. Approaches argument as chain of individual turns, and understands and produces such turns in context, such as taking a position or giving a reason
2. Transfers the idea of making a persuasive appeal into a written context and does some simple analysis of how oneself or an author might appeal or has appealed to different audiences and interests
2. Understands and expresses positions in writing with reasonable attention to what one knows and some ability to focus on what is important in the domain
2. Recognizes, generates and elaborates on reasons in writing, with some awareness of the need for evidence, and uses one's own argument to counter others' argument in an engaging, familiar context
2. Approaches persuasive text as a coherently organized sequence of reasons supporting a position
3. Infers rhetorical structure in texts, and builds rhetorical plans of one’s own that coordinate multiple appeals and moves into a coherent effort to persuade a target audience
3. Understands and expresses positions clearly, capturing their relationships both to similar and contrasting points of view
3. Understands use of evidence and clearly grasps the need to provide evidence and reasons that are directly relevant to and support the main point and which are logically sound
3. Approaches persuasive text as a logically structured presentation of a case with embedded reasons and evidence
4. Shows flexibility in interpreting and developing rhetorical plans, with sensitivity to differences among audiences with different points of view
4. Successfully analyzes unstated assumptions, biases, and other subjective elements in a text and can use that to develop one’s own position more clearly
4. Understands the role of critique and rebuttal and is able to reason about and respond to counterevidence and critical questions
4. Approaches persuasive text as part of a dialog between multiple perspectives with appropriate attention to counterpoint and rebuttal
5. Displays a well-developed rhetorical (metacognitive) understanding of persuasion
5. Can use others’ arguments to develop one’s own understanding, and then frame one’s own position in terms that exploit the current “state of discussion”
5. Builds systematic mental models of entire debates, and use that model to frame one’s own attempts to build knowledge.
5. Displays mastery of many different forms of argument, demonstrating flexible understanding and control of genre features

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