True understanding requires students to move beyond initial acquisition and integration of new knowledge toward growing levels of refinement and use. Design Question 4 deals with strategies to help students progress beyond basic levels of knowing by engaging them in tasks that require experimentation with the new knowledge—that is, generating and testing hypotheses about it. The next module—Module 11—addresses four specific types of tasks that can be used to this end: experimental-inquiry tasks, problem-solving tasks, decision-making tasks, and investigation tasks. Module 12 deals with engaging students in designing their own tasks and using cooperative groups. However, to effectively use tasks for generating and testing hypotheses, students must understand the nature of support. Specifically, they must understand the following:
- Valid claims must be supported through the development of grounds—supporting assertions and declarations.
- The support should be explained and discussed via backing, which establishes the validity of grounds and discusses the grounds in depth.
- Exceptions to the claims should be identified through qualifiers, which state the degree of certainty for the claim and exceptions to the claim.
- Statistical information should be used and analyzed with an understanding of its limitations.
This module—Module 10—addresses strategies for enhancing students' understanding of and ability to use these elements.
Reflecting on Your Current Beliefs and Practices