ETS LEARNING PROGRESSIONS AND KEY PRACTICES

ETS learning progressions are a tool for building a valuable understanding of what students need to learn and the typical paths they are likely to take to get there. These developmental signposts can provide insights that help educators interpret evidence of student learning and guide students’ progress toward educational standards and goals.

Key practices are a tool to support understanding of how teachers can integrate discrete literacy skills and standards-based curricular activities to achieve important communicative goals in English language arts (ELA). Key practices describe skill sets for reading, writing and/or critical thinking and provide a process-based framework for how these skills work together across different phases to support performing complex literacy tasks.

ETS Learning Progressions and Key Practices form the foundation of the Winsight®  program. Using them, teachers will be able to tailor instruction for an individual student or group of students based on their level of understanding, organize instruction based on how students advance and create targets for learning and assessment.

FEATURES OF LEARNING PROGRESSIONS AND KEY PRACTICES

Based on research in the
cognitive and developmental
sciences and educator experience

Compatible with state standards

Support personalized teaching and learning

Support assessment
development and reporting

THE ROLES OF LEARNING PROGRESSIONS AND KEY PRACTICES

ETS Learning Progressions and Key Practices form the foundation of the Winsight program will play pivotal roles in future components of the Winsight program.

TESTLETS

Measure student understanding of the content of an educational unit

Focus on specific learning progressions

Provide data to inform current and future instructional decision making

Allow teachers and schools to choose which concepts need targeted assessment

FORMATIVE

Support teachers in focusing instruction on student learning and state standards

Provide teachers with meaningful real-time feedback about where each student is on the path along a learning progression. This information enables them to customize lessons for individuals and groups of students – pinpointing where they need the most help

Support student self-reflection on their learning and peer feedback

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEARNING PROGRESSIONS AND KEY PRACTICES

Learning progressions and key practices each measure student understanding at a specific level. While closely related to each other, these different levels are more useful for measuring understanding for different subjects. Mathematics learning is best described by a set of learning progressions. English language arts, which requires students to integrate discrete skills for various purposes, is best measured against key practices.

EXAMPLE OF A LEARNING PROGRESSION

Discover how learning progression work with the following example, which shows the learning progression for proportional reasoning. It describes conceptual understanding and potential difficulties at each level, and shows how students might respond to the question, “What is the bigger ratio: 4:5 or 3:6?”

LEVEL ONE Intuitive Understanding

LEVEL TWO Attempt to Quantify

LEVEL THREE Recognizing Multiplicative Relationships

LEVEL FOUR Accommodating Covariance and Invariance

CONCEPTUAL
LEVEL

Can use “greater/ less than” to make qualitative judgments.

Can work with simple ratios and understand that changing the ratio changes the outcome.

Can use multiplicative
reasoning correctly.

Robust understanding of ratios and uses scalar approaches, diagrams, cross-multiplication and build-up strategies appropriately.

DIFFICULTIES

Cannot quantify their judgment or use absolute reasoning to justify answers.

May revert to absolute reasoning and focus on only one part of the fraction; unable to compare ratios where no quantities are the same

May not use multiplicative reasoning efficiently, especially if the problem is more challenging.

May have difficulty working with more than two ratios.

POTENTIAL
RESPONSES

“The ratios are the same since both add up to 9.” “4:5 is bigger since 4>3.”

“3:6 is bigger since 6-3 is 3 but 5-4 is only 1.” (misconception) “3:6 is the same as a half and 4:5 is more than a half so it is bigger.”

“4:5 is the same as 8:10, which is the same as 24:30. 3:6 is the same as 15:30, so since 24>15, 4:5 is bigger.”

“4:5=8:10 and 3:6=5:10.
I can check this by sketching or converting both ratios to a decimal.”

EXAMPLE OF A KEY PRACTICE

Discover how key practices work with the following example, which shows the key practice of Discuss and Debate Ideas. The key practice describes five phases of the argumentation process and presents a set of questions students might consider at each phase. For example, in the “Create and Evaluate Arguments” phase, students need to consider if they have provided relevant evidence to support their own arguments and to address possible counterarguments.

DISCUSS AND DEBATE IDEAS KEY PRACTICE

UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE:
CONTEXT AND STAKES

Appeal Building

  • Whose opinions about this issue matter
  • What do people who are interested in this issue care about?
  • Who am I trying to convince?
    How will I convince them?
  • Who are others trying to convince?

ORGANIZE AND PRESENT
ARGUMENTS

Framing a Case

  • How should I present my arguments?
  • What structure is most effective and logical?
  • How will people with different perspectives
    present their arguments?
Continuing cycle Continuing cycle

EXPLORE
THE SUBJECT

Research and Inquiry

  • What do I know about the subject?
  • What don’t I know?
  • How can I find out more?
  • What information is relevant?
Continuing cycle Continuing cycle

CREATE AND EVALUATE
ARGUMENTS

Reasons and Evidence

  • What reasons can I use to support my conclusions?
  • Do I have enough evidence to support each reason?
  • What counterarguments do I need to address?
Continuing cycle

CONSIDER
POSITIONS

Taking a Position

  • What positions are reasonable?
  • Are they all clear and defensible?
  • What position should I take?
  • How should I focus and limit my position?

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