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Topic: Presenting and supporting arguments 

Thinking and Reasoning

 Standard 1.  Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   Benchmark 1.Understands that people are more likely to believe a person’s ideas if that person can give good reasons for them
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Supports ideas with reasons
   Benchmark 2.Provides coherent (though not necessarily valid or convincing) answers when asked why one believes something to be true or how one knows something
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Provides coherent answers to questions
     2.Provides answers that are not necessarily valid or convincing
     3.Answers when asked why one believes something to be true
     4.Answers when asked how one knows something
   Benchmark 3.Asks "how do you know" in appropriate situations (e.g., questioning evidence presented in problems or texts)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Asks "how do you know" when questioning evidence presented in problems
     2.Asks "how do you know" when questioning evidence presented in texts
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   Benchmark 1.Uses facts from books, articles, and databases to support an argument
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Uses facts from books to support an argument
     2.Uses facts from articles to support an argument
     3.Uses facts from databases to support an argument
   Benchmark 2.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including appeals to authority and pity, personal attacks, the use of statements such as "everybody knows," and vague references such as "leading doctors say"
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including appeals to authority
     2.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including appeals to pity
     3.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including personal attacks
     4.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including the use of statements such as "everybody knows"
     5.Identifies basic informal fallacies, including the use of vague references such as "leading doctors say"
   Benchmark 3.Understands that reasoning can be distorted by strong feelings
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that arguments need more support than just feeling strongly about an issue
   Benchmark 4.Analyzes arguments to determine if they are supported by facts from books, articles, and databases
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Analyzes arguments to determine if they are supported by facts from books
     2.Analyzes arguments to determine if they are supported by facts from articles
     3.Analyzes arguments to determine if they are supported by facts from databases
   Benchmark 5.Asks questions about and seeks better reasons for believing arguments than the assertion that "everybody knows" or "I just know"
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Asks questions about arguments that assert that "everybody know"
     2.Asks questions about arguments that assert that "I just know"
     3.Seeks better reasons for believing an argument than the assertion that "everybody knows"
     4.Seeks better reasons for believing an argument than the assertion that "I just know"
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   Benchmark 1.Evaluates arguments that are based on quantitative data and mathematical concepts
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Evaluates arguments that are based on quantitative data
     2.Evaluates arguments that are based on mathematical concepts
   Benchmark 2.Questions claims that use vague references such as "leading experts say..." or are based on the statements of people speaking outside of their expertise (e.g., celebrities)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Questions claims that use vague references such as "leading experts say..."
     2.Questions claims that are based on the statements of people speaking outside their expertise such as celebrities
   Benchmark 3.Questions conclusions based on very small samples of data, biased samples, or samples for which there is no central sample
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Questions conclusions based on a very small sample of data
     2.Questions conclusions based on biased samples
     3.Questions conclusions based on samples for which there is no central sample
   Benchmark 4.Makes basic distinctions between information that is based on fact and information that is based on opinion
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies information that is based on facts
     2.Identifies information that is based on opinions
   Benchmark 5.Identifies and questions false analogies
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies false analogies
     2.Questions false analogies
   Benchmark 6.Identifies and questions arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess nearly identical characteristics that are considered to be different from those of another group
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess nearly identical characteristics
     2.Questions arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess nearly identical characteristics
     3.Identifies arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess characteristics considered to be different from those of another group
     4.Questions arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess characteristics considered to be different from those of another group
   Benchmark 7.Compares and contrasts the credibility of differing accounts of the same event
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Determines similarities between differing accounts of the same event
     2.Determines differences between differing accounts of the same event
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   Benchmark 1.Identifies techniques used to slant information in subtle ways (e.g., selecting only information that supports a point; ignoring information that contradicts a point)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies techniques used to slant information in subtle ways such as, selecting only information that supports a point
     2.Identifies techniques used to slant information in subtle ways such as, ignoring information that contradicts a point
   Benchmark 2.Develops logical arguments that are based on quantitative data
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Develops logical arguments
     2.Develops arguments based on quantitative data
   Benchmark 3.Identifies or seeks out the critical assumptions behind a line of reasoning and uses that to judge the validity of an argument
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Identifies the critical assumptions behind a line of reasoning
     2.Uses critical assumption to judge the validity of an argument
   Benchmark 4.Understands that to be convincing, an argument must have both true statements and valid connections among them
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands that to be convincing, an argument must have true statements
     2.Understands that to be convincing, an argument must have valid connections between statements
   Benchmark 5.Uses a variety of strategies to construct an argument (e.g., facts, anecdotes, case studies, quotations, logical reasoning, tables, charts, graphs)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Uses facts to construct an argument
     2.Uses anecdotes to construct an argument
     3.Uses case studies to construct an argument
     4.Uses logical reasoning to construct an argument
     5.Uses tables to construct an argument
     6.Uses charts to construct an argument
     7.Uses graphs to construct an argument
   Benchmark 6.Evaluates the overall effectiveness of complex arguments
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a complex argument
   Benchmark 7.Evaluates an argument objectively by considering all sides of an issue (e.g., using past experience, data, logical analysis
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Evaluates an argument objectively by using past experiencing
     2.Evaluates an argument objectively by using data
     3.Evaluates an argument objectively by using logical analysis
   Benchmark 8.Knows that a good argument anticipates and attempts to answer objections before they are posed
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that a good argument anticipates objections before they are posed
     2.Knows that a good argument attempts to answer objections before they are posed
   Benchmark 9.Develops a clear and coherent thesis and conclusion for an argument
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Develops a clear and coherent thesis for an argument
     2.Develops a clear and coherent conclusion for an argument